While reading “The Things They Carried”, I felt a sense of compassion for the narrator. His ideas, almost scatter-brained, took us through the emotional and physical aspects of war. As the reader we were not only introduced to other men in his troop but given an insight to many of their personality traits. He also refers to Martha. The woman back home he longs for. We are with him as he experiences the feeling of confusion between needing, wanting, and loving her and hate.
In comparison to this story, “Forrest Gump” takes the audience through these same feelings. He makes a good friend while enlisting, who is taken away from him and he can also relate to having a lover back home. Just as in “The Things They Carried”, Gump also shows us personal point of view while sharing his tales. We are introduced to his friendships, his history back home, and the hopes for when he returns.
His heart is held by Jenny, his childhood sweetheart. He dreams of being back with her, seeing her again. However, life back home continued without Forrest, and he is left heartbroken to find out she no longer wants to be with him once he returns from the war. Once home we are taken through his determination to earn Jenny’s love back, but unfortunately he is left with disappointment and heartache.
When Jenny discovers she is dying from an incurable disease she searches for Forrest. She tells him about her medical circumstance and also shares she has a son named Forrest. The two get married and live happily for a short while until Jenny passed away.
Although this movie is most commonly described as a love story it also touches the aspects of war and it’s effects on relationships and society. Forrest decides to enlist after graduation. He is sent to Vietnam with his best friend Bubba. Through the films special effects the audience is shown graphic images of the struggling, hurting, and dying soldiers. In this way, the love story almost makes it seem more real. The audience is given something to relate to. We are wishing for his safe homecoming and for many others as well.
The audience is left with the image of Forrest seeing his son off to school. The same image the movie opened up with. This gives the audience a sense of closure. In comparison “The Things They Carried” ended with Cross decided to end his relationship and emotional ties with Martha. His motivation and energy from now on would be focused on his troop.
Forrest Gump is a great example of artistic expression that shows both the patriotism of war, such as Forrest earning a Medal of Honor, and the effects it can have on your loved ones.
In some stories a happy ending can result from love and sharing life with another person, while in others it could be fullfiling your life’s purpose. While you may think you know what ingredients will create this happily ever after, you could be very well surprised.
My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” -Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump Trailer
Sources: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3567517977 , http://www.speakinggump.com/wordpress/?m=201101