Literary Analysis And Summary Of Motifs In Forrest Gump

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Forrest Gump is an American film that was made in 1994. It is about an intellectually disabled man. As a boy, Forrest was bullied because of the braces he had to wear on his legs. The reason for the braces was because of his curved spine. The leg braces led the other kids to bully him. Forrest lived with his mom in Alabama. His mom always told him to believe in himself no matter what his limitations were. Forrest’s mom bent the rules a little to get him into a public school because his IQ was below average and not good enough to qualify for the public school. Forrest met Jenny and they became good friends really fast. Jenny also struggled with some things and life but her struggle was her sexually abusive father. A moment between Jenny and Forrest was when a group of kids was bullying Forrest and Jenny told him to run. Forrest runs so fast that he basically ran out of his leg braces. He was also running so fast that the football coach noticed him and gave him a sports scholarship to play on his team. After graduating, Forrest went to the army and met his best friend bubba. Bubba’s dream job was to have a shrimping business. Forrest found something out about his friend Jenny and needed to find her. When he found her he confessed his love for her. After coming back from seeing Jenny the Platoon was attacked and Bubba was killed in the attack. Jenny and Forrest than meet again. He finds out that she keeps going from one abusive relationship to another. Meanwhile, he plays ping pong to keep himself busy and he ends up winning $25,000 and uses that money to buy a boat that he names “jenny.” Forrest uses that boat to creat his own shrimping business and it becomes successful. Jenny and Forrest end up hanging out together one night. Forrest proposed to Jenny but she declined. He then ran around the world after she declined. Forrest came back to find out that Jenny had a son. The boy was his son which was also named Forrest. Jenny and Forrest end up getting married and they are a happy family. Jenny does eventually die from the illness she had. The movie ends with Forrest sending off Forrest jr. just as he was sent off at the beginning of the movie. As you can tell just by the summary of the movie there are many different symbols and motifs. The symbols include the feather, box of chocolates, and birds chirping. The motifs include running and the seats being taken on the bus.

There are many different symbols in Forrest Gump. Starting with the feather. The movie starts off with a feather floating aimlessly down from the sky and somehow ends up landing between Forrest’s feet while he is sitting on a bench. Not only did the film starts off with the feather but it also ends with the feather getting carried through the air by a little wisp of wind. In the movie the feather is supposed to symbolize the life lessons Forrest learns throughout the film. The feather is tied to a quote Forrest says in the movie which is ‘I don’t know if we each have a destiny or we’re all just floating around accidental like in a breeze.” The feather represents life’s path, you are going to go through many different things in your life but in the end you will end up where ever you were meant to be even if it wasn’t where you planned on being.

Another example of a symbol used was the box of chocolate reference. Forrest says many times throughout the movie, ‘Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ As you can see Forrest states what the box of chocolates symbolizes in the movie he says, The box chocolates represent the variety and unpredictability of life. Chocolates are all different and represent the different surprises that life has in store. That was said because Forrest is so different and all people are unique in their own way. Life will always throw something at you but you just have to keep moving forward.

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The last symbol is the birds chirping. After Jenny dies Forrest visits her grave. After Forrest visits Jenny’s grave, he walks away from the tree under which the grave sits and hears the chirping of a bug group of birds in the tree. Earlier in the movie Jenny prays to be turned into a bird so she can fly away from her abusive household. The moment of the birds chirping in the tree symbolizes the fact that Jenny has finally turned into a bird, and that she heard what Forrest had to say at her grave

In the movie some symbols come together to create a thing called a motif, which is a figure that has a symbolic significance that contributes toward the development of a theme. A motif that i found was Jenny telling Forrest “Run, Forrest, run.” When JennForrest’s initial escape from the bullies launches him into his future, sends him running towards his specific fate. First, he runs on the All-American football team, then he runs in the Vietnam War. Finally, after Jenny leaves him unexpectedly, he runs across the country, becoming a celebrity in the news for his determination and endurance.

The last motif I found was the seats taken on the bus. On the first day of school, Forrest boards the school bus and struggles to find a seat, since none of the other kids will make room for him to sit down. This represents the ways that Forrest doesn’t fit in with his peers, and is somehow out of place in the world. Then later, the exact same scenario repeats itself when Forrest boards a bus after joining the military. He cannot find a seat, and it shows that he is once again lonely and feeling out of place. 

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