History Class In One Movie

If you have fallen asleep, not paid attention, or simply did not understand the material in any of your history classes so far throughout your academic career, have no fear, because I have the perfect solution to your problem. It’s simple. Cancel your plans for an evening, login to your Netflix account, make some popcorn, dim the lights, and watch one of the most famous films of all time, “Forrest Gump.” forrest-gump-as-a-kid

This awesome movie, not only serves as a comedy, drama, and a love story, but it is also a film which gives a different unique perspective on key historic events from the 1950’s to the modern day.

Born mentally and physically impaired, Forrest (Tom Hanks) began his life with many problems. He was not receiving the same education as his peers, he lived everyday with two metal leg braces, and people constantly judged and bullied him. However, he eventually met his first friend, who would also become the love his life, named Jenny (Robin Wright). Together, Forrest and Jenny coped with their every day problems and became one another’s best friend.

The movie progresses as time goes on. The entire movie takes place as Forrest is sitting on a bench, reminiscing his life with strangers as he is waiting to catch a bus.

Forrest eventually no longer needs his leg braces and his legs are stronger than ever. In fact, he even has an amazing football career at the University of Alabama, which nobody who knew Forrest would expect, considering he has never played a sport before this. Afterwards, Forrest decides to enlist in the Army, as the Vietnam War is just underway.

For the sake of the length of this blog, I will not tell you every single notable historic event that Forrest lives through, but the list is endless. This movie is a real life tour through the events we all would learn about in history class. Watergate, Kennedy’s Assassination, school integration, the creation of Apple, and the virus of HIV becoming discovered are just a few of the moments, that Forrest lives through. Along the way, he manages to form life long relationships with unique individuals from different walks of life, and lives a successful life, when nobody ever expected him too. For that reason alone, I find this movie incredibly fascinating.

Likewise, this movie is also well known for several famous quotes. One of the most memorable quotes happens early on in the movie, as bullies are attacking Forrest. As they try to chase him down, Jenny exclaims to him, “Run Forrest Run.” Forrest not only escapes from the wrath of his bullies, but at this point, movie history was changed forever, as this quote is extremely well known. Similarly, the most thought provoking quote in this movie in my opinion is when Forrest quotes something his mother always told him, that, “Life is like a box of chocolates,” because, “you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Analyzing this quote, Forrest really did hit the nail on the head. In life, we are not always dealt the “best hand,” and sometimes we are force to live a tough life. This is a great quote to analyze as we are just starting a new, fun, yet grueling chapter in our lives. In these next couple years, we all will face problems or obstacles. However, if Forrest taught us anything, it would be that we should not pray for an easy life, but rather, we should pray to be a strong individual.forrest-gump

One Response

  1. amm7798 at |

    Hey Dan!
    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I have seen Forrest Gump before and have even been to Savannah,Georgia and seen the square where the chocolate quote scene was filmed, but I never thought about it in a historical content. It didn’t really dawn on me how many historical events that he lived through.

    I agree with what you said about how we never know what life with throw at us, and that it’s better to be strong and grow from it rather then pray for easier times.

    To be continued because I ran out of time….


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