Forrest Gump: The Social Model Of Disability

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Forrest Gump is a character in a film titled “Forrest Gump”. Gump will be my character of focus for the purpose of this case study. The selection to study Forrest has been chosen to analyze because perhaps the most popular depiction of disability in a film in the past 20 years. According to the movie Forrest Gump grossed a total income at the box office is an astounding US $677 million dollars worldwide. Forrest Gump is a character depicted as having an intellectual disability, as well as scoliosis. Forrest’s character is fictional, and acted out on screen by an able bodied actor named Tom Hanks. Additionally the intellectual disability Tom Hanks portrays on screen is written by an able bodied writing team. My case study will focus on the Social Model of Disability, the intersection of gender and disability, and the portrayal of an intellectual disability on screen, and the perpetuation of stereotypes Forrest Gump portrays for viewers.…show more content…
Forrest proves in each chapter of his life that he is only held back by what his mind says he can’t do, and by what society says he can’t do. It is clear in the film the medical model of disability is an accepted norm within the culture Forrest lives, however Forrest’s Mother played by Sally Fields, teaches Forrest at an early point in his life that “Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re better than them Forrest”, and “What does normal mean anyway?”. The Social Model of disability coined by Mike Oliver is the driving force behind Forrest Gump’s success throughout the film. According to Oliver the social model of disability can be explained as “nothing more complicated than a clear focus on the economic, environmental and cultural barriers encountered by people who are viewed by others as having some form of impairment”
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