An Analysis Of 'Forrest Gump'

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The 1994 film Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as the titular character, uses its main character's intellectual deficit as a means of highlighting other people's various bigotries and assumptions, against the backdrop of twentieth-century American history. However, the film also presents a problematic view of certain elements in this history, especially relating to race relations in the South, such that one must consider the film's sometimes rosy view of discrimination with a critical eye. While the movie may be celebrated for the way in which its titular character rises above the cultural prejudices of his time, one cannot review it without simultaneously considering the ways in which the film as a whole sometimes serves to paper over contentious portions of American history in the service of telling an enjoyable story. Therefore, while this review largely considers Forrest Gump a success in terms of characterization and plot, the film falls short of its mark due to its problematic treatment of black history in the South. In many ways, the central successes and failures of Forrest Gump revolve around a theme that does not get stated explicitly until well into the movie, after Gump has achieved most of his notable accomplishments. "The morning after Forrest Gump loses his virginity and begets the son who will carry on his name," he decides to deal with his sense of loss by taking "off on a run that will not end until he has traversed the

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