"Forrest Gump": Themes, Techniques and Meanings

Essay by ChillFactorHigh School, 12th grade July 2006

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"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump is the portrayal of a man that has been alienated from society, not because he is unintelligent or dimwitted, but rather because he is not restricted by the conventional ideals which are embedded within his culture; thus, challenging the conformities and principals that most people are accustomed to. The contrast that Robert Zemeckis, director of the film, is attempting to convey through the character of Forrest Gump is how most people are too smart for there own good; and thus, try to escape the realities and actualities of life. While other characters in the story are suppressed by society's conflicts, Forrest remains blinded to all; hence, he is able to live in the moment, rather then evading what is real. Forrest's unique selflessness and compelled nature to do what is right, as opposed to what is easy, are what our society incorrectly labels stupidity or futility.

Zemeckis is obviously pointing out that an individual has no control over his or her own destiny and in order to live a noble life, must accept life as it is.

I think it is very appropriate that Zemeckis begins his movie with the scene in which he does. Approaching Forrest's worn out and dirty shoes with a fluid camera shot of a feather floating on the breeze foregrounds the entire movie. It is an obvious symbol for Forrrest and the way he just casually makes his way through the worst of times without being harmed. The feather is many years old and has been through so much, yet it still remains clean and pure; exactly like Gump. Moreover, the coloring of the feather is very significant. It is white with black marks, giving off a inkling...