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Who is Forrest Gump?

Aug 10, 2008
Forrest Gump. One of the most inspirational film characters of all time. Forrest symbolizes the way we wish to deal with the problems we face throughout the course of our lives, and how we would go about solving them if the Universe was on our side. In order to get the Universe on his side; Forrest had 3 essential qualities to separate himself from others: honesty, integrity, and compassion. If you have these 3 qualities along with acceptance as Forrest did, life will seem to work out for the best. Then, true happiness can be experienced.

Honesty is an important quality which we seek, and can be seen in Forrest's character. When he was in the army, Forrest made a promise to enter the Shrimping business with Bubba. Despite the death of Bubba, Forrest still went on to support Bubba's family, and started a shrimping business of his own. Most people would be so disheartened by the death of their best friend, they wouldn't be able to find the strength to carry on their promises. Because Forrest was such a strong and honest person, he carried out his promise in the toughest of times.

Forrest had more integrity than most people dream to have, and that really distinguished his unique personality. In fact, the integrity of Forrest Gump is unmatched by any other film character. For example, running is a trademark of Forrest; he always runs to get out of a difficult situation. Even if being chased by a car, an entire football team, Forrest used his integrity to pull himself out of tough circumstances. Running across the country for 3 years, playing ping ping in the army, and getting into the shrimping business all demonstrated the integrity of Forrest Gump. In order to play ping ping, he had to overcome the difficulties of being in the army. In order to run across the country, he had to sacrifice many aspects of his life. In order to get into the Shrimping business, he had to learn how to operate a boat, catch a shrimp, and learn all of the necessary skills. Were any of these tasks easy? No. So why did Forrest do them? Because he saw an opportunity where others didn't, used his integrity to follow through on his actions and make the best out of his situation.

By far, the most important trait that Forrest possessed was compassion. A quote from Edward Bulwer-Lytton "A good heart is better than all the heads in the world." is a great example of the compassion of Forrest Gump. With an IQ of 75 as a child, he wasn't the smartest person in the world, but he had an immeasurable amount of compassion. Forrest's relationship with Jenny, Lt. Dan, and Bubba are a fine example. Even though Jenny seemed to come and go throughout his life, Forrest never lost his love for her. When Jenny was at her lowest points, he always tried to lift her spirits, and never wanted to see her get hurt. When Forrest Gump was in the army, his biggest priority was saving the lives of his friends. When under attack, Forrest saved as many people as he could, including Lt. Dan. However, Dan wanted to die in battle rather than be saved by another, so he held a grudge against Forrest for a long time. Dan spent a good amount of time cursing Forrest for saving his life (he had lost both of his legs). The 2 run into each-other quite a bit throughout the course of the movie, and Forrest is compassionate towards Lt. Dan each and every time they see each-other. Dan remains bitter at Forrest for a long time, until he takes up an invitation to join the Shrimping business with Forrest. So why would Forrest Gump help out Lt. Dan, who had nothing but hate towards him? Because Forrest felt he had a debt to repay to Lt. Dan, and was committed to it, no matter the cost. If you know a real life person who has compassion similar to Forrest Gump, then I would like to hear about it. Forrest shows all of the traits of a true friend; honesty, integrity, and compassion. A combination of the 3 can lead to success, as evidenced by the movie.

But what about all of the running that Forrest does in the movie? Isn't running a cowardly method for solving problems? Not for Forrest. As a recurring theme, running away from problems works for Gump; and if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Running across the country for 3 years straight helped Forrest clear his mind of all the problems that he was facing at the time. Was it controversial? Yes. But whatever works, just go for it. Forrest had no fear of taking action to improve his quality of life, and in this case, he knew what was best for him. After gaining publicity for his long run, a group of runners started to run behind Forrest. Who do these people represent? They represent the people that we affect when we decide to take action on anything. ANYTHING. Whether big or small, we affect others when we take action. For example, look at the smile on our parents faces when we are learning to walk, learning to read, or learning to ride a bike. What about the thoughts of others when they are reading an article? I am taking action by writing this article, and your mind is being affected by reading it. The effects can be positive or negative: depending on the person that is being affected, and the type of action taken. During his run, Forrest gave tips to others, and even unintentionally helped a man create a T-Shirt design.

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get". Forrest is seen with a box of chocolates, eating them calmly on the bus stop. He plans to give them to Jenny, and they represent the different stages of Forrest's life. From childhood memories, to playing football in college, to being in the army, starting a shrimping business, mastering the game of ping-pong, and the steps he took to become wealthy. Just like a box of chocolates, life is unpredictable, and you can never let your guard down, because you can never know what will happen tomorrow.

Who is Forrest Gump? He is what a lot of us strive to become: wealthy, successful, and a good person. He is the set of all traits that we need to become better human beings. Honesty, integrity, and compassion being the main 3. There is no greater example of a great human being than Forrest Gump himself - the epitome of inspiration for years to come.
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