During my reading journey, I spent nearly two months completely engrossed in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump. Surprisingly, this book has a remarkable ability to captivate and enlighten me. What truly impressed me was the author’s skillful use of simple and direct language that deeply resonated with my inner self. The story revolves around Forrest Gump, who is considered by himself and others as intellectually limited. However, what makes it truly exceptional is that Forrest serves as both the main character and narrator of the tale, offering a unique perspective from an “idiot’s” point of view.
Despite his struggles in navigating social situations due to his perceived limitations, Forrest possesses a heart filled with innocence and optimism. This extraordinary combination leads to moments of great triumph alongside insignificant failures that he remains indifferent towards.
The book I chose, Forrest Gump, offers a valuable lesson on prioritizing what truly matters over fame and gain. It highlights the idea that someone who may be considered an idiot can possess intelligence in various aspects. The character of Forrest Gump exemplifies this notion as he states, “Maybe I am an idiot, but at least I ain’t stupid.” This thought-provoking sentence prompts the question of whether being an idiot equates to being stupid. Throughout the story, Forrest Gump faces challenges with speech, lacks shame, and frequently exhibits inappropriate behavior.
Forrest is a multi-talented individual, excelling in math, chess, running, business, and boxing. His abilities have astonished many intellectuals and caused them to feel ashamed. Despite possessing numerous remarkable talents, he is still perceived as an idiot by others. This unfair treatment leads me to ponder on the societal perspective that labels Forrest as a foolish person with an imbecilic intelligence. Ultimately, society, or rather culture, determines one’s status as an idiot based on whether they adhere to conventional norms and “common sense.”
In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie emphasizes that we should not let culture control us but rather make our own choices. Just because the majority follows something does not make it inherently right. Being different is not a negative thing; it is simply a matter of being unique. Forrest Gump possesses talents regardless of whether others acknowledge them or not. While our world may view him as unintelligent, he is not stupid. Towards the end of the book, there is another notable quote: “I’m wonderin jus why am I doin all this for? A long time ago, me an Bubba had a plan, which has now gone beyon our wildest dreams, but so what? Sometimes our dreams are distorted by what we have. The more deeply we sink into the mire, the fewer original dreams will remain in our heart.” Our desire for profit often obscures our simple dreams and causes us to lose sight of our main purpose in life, just as Forrest Gump experiences. This concept can be compared to playing chess, where the queen may bravely eliminate enemies but she must always rely on the king to keep the player alive.
No matter what the queen accomplishes, if the player loses the king, which is less powerful, the game will end. Gump often appears unintelligent because he consistently gives up chances that could lead to success in order to follow his heart. However, this is precisely why his experiences are so valuable. Jenny, Gump’s girlfriend, loves him for his pure approach to life. Nevertheless, even a “fool” can be lured by their desires. Boxing sparks a strong desire in Forrest Gump to excel. The more victories he attains, the more determined he becomes to defeat his next opponent and ultimately puts his family’s well-being at risk.
The text illustrates the protagonist’s recognition that he has veered away from his true pursuit of happiness. It underscores the importance of uncovering our own ambitions and not abandoning them for a meaningful existence. Despite the possibility of being led astray by our aspirations and facing rejection from society, we should remain undeterred. Others may view us as foolish, but ultimate judgment lies with God. By embracing Forrest Gump’s simple approach to life, we will come to realize that our circumstances are not as negative as we perceive them to be. As Forrest famously said, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”