Forrest Gump: Summary of Defining Moments

Categories: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump, a film by Robert Zemeckis made in 1994 starring beloved actor Tom Hanks. Touching the hearts of a nationwide audience this film teaches many life lessons. These teachings are as follows: try your hardest and never give up, be kind to others and do what you love. The movie starts with Forrest Gump when he was younger. Gump was born with strong legs but a crooked spine giving him trouble doing simple things like walking even having to wear leg braces but he never lost hope.

Being bullied by others because of his condition couldn't even stop Forrest. He eventually breaks free of his leg braces trying to run away from bullies, while his only friends Jenna, support him screaming, “RUN FORREST! RUNN!”. After breaking free and being able to walk and run Gump continued to practice running becoming an amazing runner. Gump went through college a football star admired by so many of his classmates. After college, he attends a navy rehabilitation camp, where he learned how to play ping pong and became a ping pong celebrity.

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All of these examples show how Forest does these things just because and it works out fantastic for him. This shows the audience that if you do something and work hard you can achieve greatness. Forrest found joy in doing the things he enjoyed and loved. For example, When he was a millionaire instead of hiring a gardener he never failed to mow his garden. Also, whenever he felt like doing something, he just did it.

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He also ran for many months merely for self-reflection. This shows the audience that doing something that you enjoy no matter how small it is can brighten your life and in a balanced state of mind.

One of the brightest moments in the movie that suggests Forrest’s positivity is when he offers away a good-sized element of his money to Bubba’s household and community. He reasons that “There’s only so lots fortune a man honestly needs and the relaxation is simply for showing off.” It is a common feel thinking that no one wishes so much, and feeling relaxed is already enough. If you make greater money than you need, why no longer provide it to anybody else and make them experience good?

One of the most well-known lines in this film is “Momma always said: life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get” Indeed, the film is full of surprises and turns that it seems Forrest’s life is full of surprising events. Everyone wants life to go their way with no changes but that usually isn't the case. Forrest accepts the fact that life changes always have a mindset of the glass half full instead of the glass half empty.

Forrest Gump is a beloved film, and rightly so. It showcases a lovable and relatable protagonist that experiences twists and turns, will become profitable regardless of his intellectual impairment. His ability to strive whatever without a blink of an eye, to be a loyal friend, to do what he loves to do, to be nice and focused, to be generous, and to be open to the surprising made him an enduring mannequin for human beings to follow. The best factor of the film, I believe, is that Forrest is no longer a person we would naturally partner with being a hero, and he suggests via his innocence and sincerity that life’s desires can be done through purity.

Works cited

  1. Groom, W. (1986). Forrest Gump. Pocket Books.
  2. Nelson, T. E., & Radcliff, B. (2013). The story of us: Life lessons in Forrest Gump. Journal of Political Science Education, 9(1), 31-43.
  3. Zemeckis, R. (Director). (1994). Forrest Gump [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.
  4. Gustafsson Sendén, M., & Bucht, C. (2007). The Making of a Hero: Forrest Gump as a Contemporary Epic. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(10), 38-46.
  5. Hanks, T. (Actor). (1994). Forrest Gump. [DVD]. Paramount Pictures.
  6. Simpson, P. (2007). Forrest Gump: The Soundtrack. Popular Music and Society, 30(2), 221-229.
  7. Ebert, R. (1994). Forrest Gump. Chicago Sun-Times.
  8. Solomon, S. (1994). A Baby Boomer’s Journey through Forrest Gump. Social Education, 58(5), 283-285.
  9. Kukkonen, K. (2015). Mental imagery and emotion in narrative engagement: A critical discussion of the Forrest Gump and Titanic phenomena. Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies, 7(2), 95-116.
  10. Medhurst, M. J. (1996). Inventing “Forrest Gump”: How to win an Oscar without really trying. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 1(1), 53-80.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Forrest Gump: Summary of Defining Moments. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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