Forrest Gump is a name that very few people in the world haven’t heard of. While there are many who haven’t read the book, there is even more who have seen the movie (which has become one of the most celebrated movies in cinema history). The story follows the title character as he retells the stories of the many adventures he’s gone on throughout his life, ranging from pin pong championships all the way to his life in the Vietnam War.
While there are some differences between the novel and the book, there are also some very strong similarities that shine through in both. One of the most notable is Forrest’s obviously low IQ, and his somewhat strange way of speaking. Though not considered the smartest, Forrest sees the word with a simple and true manner. This leads to him being full of wisdom, which he often times uses to assist and help those around him and in life.
Throughout the story, you’re told of his many adventures—some of which are joyous and others which are tragic. However, regardless of what adventure he’s retelling, he never lets us forget the symbol of his true love—Jenny Curran, a girl he met in first grade and had been involved with (non-romantically) for many years after, almost his entire life. It is through these events that you truly begin to understand who Forrest Gump is both as a man and a person, and how he’s changed the lives of all the people around in in some way.
It also goes to show how Forrest has changed from the young boy we first met to the man we see in the ending. Though variations of this differ between the movie and novel, they both show maturation and stark differences between the two aforementioned points. This allows us to reversely see how the people around Forrest have changed and affected him, opposed to only witnessing their changes through interactions with Forrest. This makes the story seem more whole, in general, and provides closure to a lot of the sub-stories that are present in the story.
Whether it’s the novel or the film adaptation, Forrest Gump is a powerful story that leaves a mark on your heart. As many of the readers and viewers can relate to the situations presented in the story, it does well to pull on our heart strings.