Forrest Gump Character Analysis Essay

Introduction, forrest’s mum – mrs. gump, works cited.

The drama Forrest Gump became a cult phenomenon of cinematography. It had a great success and won a few awards. The movie’s plot is non-trivial: the developmentally disabled person becomes a shrimp magnate, a famous football player, a hero during the war, a co-owner of Steve Jobs’ Apple company, and earns a billion. It is the story of one extraordinary and kind life. The narrative comes on behalf of Forrest Gump (performed by Tom Hanks), a person with poor mental capacities who nevertheless turns out to be smarter than most members of “normal” people’s society.

The main character of the film was born in Greenbow, which is located in Alabama ( Forrest Gump) . Forrest’s childhood was not harmless because the boy was special and stood out from the crowd. It is commonly known that the person, different from the rest, usually do not gain popularity in collectives. However, Forrest’s life path is extremely winding and full of adventures. He goes to school because of his mother’s insistence (his IQ 75, when at least 80 is needed for general education school), goes to University, thanks to his game of American football (he just cannot be caught up). After University, as a good citizen, he goes to the army. Gump is sent to Vietnam like his new friend, Bubba, whom he met on an army bus. It should be noted that the most important meetings for Forrest happen on the bus, and it is while waiting for the bus, the hero tells his story.

In Vietnam, Forrest shows heroism, saves friends and gets shot. The war hero, a shrimp millionaire, for some messiah, a man who has repeatedly been personally rewarded by the president, in all adventures, never forgets the most important person. Jenny is the girl, whom he met on the school bus, who was always the closest person to him after his mother, the girl who would become his son’s mother ( Forrest Gump) . Forrest is looking forward to the meeting with her while he tells his life story to the continually changing listeners at the bus stop.

The power of the main character lies in the fact that whatever he does – running, playing ping-pong, pulling the wounded friends out of the battlefield, catching shrimp, and even cutting grass, he is completely passionate about this process (Davis). Forrest concentrates on his activity without any side thoughts – he does it because he likes and can do it. This skill is lacking for a lot of people – they tend to do something unpleasant just because they think they must.

Despite the impression of loneliness and exclusion of the main character, everything turns out to be the opposite. After spending his whole life waiting for love, Forrest loses his wife, only to find happiness with her. However, he does not go crazy, and he does not sink into despair. He raises his son and goes to the grave to his wife, talking to her. Through these simple actions, the viewer realizes that at every moment of people’s lives, when they seem to be alone, they are not, dears are near.

Thus, the protagonist is a man with mental features named Forrest Gump. He, like a feather, is carried through the large-scale events of the last half of the 20th ( Forrest Gump) . In the movie, Forrest meets John Lennon, teaches Elvis Presley to dance, and comes up with a famous slogan. It is not all of his adventures, as there are much more. One may describe the hero as a flat character, features that his mom has raised in him stay during his life. The world around the protagonist changes with crazy speed, but he himself remains the same. His character and soul remain invariably open and straightforward, although some aspects of his life shift seriously – financial condition, marital status.

Although Jenny – Forrest’s beloved – appears most often throughout the film, his mother is the one who also requires separate attention. She struggles to feed her son and is forced to turn her home into a hotel, to become a servant in it ( Forrest Gump) . It seems that the problems are about to crush this family. However, Mrs. Gump finds the strength to survive. The main hero forever remembers her simple and large comments and often uses them as direct indications of action. What is important is that maternal love is not blind. She is raising not a disabled person, but an active, self-sufficient citizen (Robles). The central values laid down in the child are patriotism, honesty, hard work, respect for the rights of others, and self-esteem.

The boy’s mother is struggling to be stable and reliable. She believes in her son and tries selflessly to help him. She serves as an interpreter and guide to her only and adored child (Rizki). Mother prides on Forrest’s successes and actively assists him in shaping the foundation of his well-being. Gump remains faithful to her mother forever, and her death is one of the worst blows of his life.

This movie shows a lot – reveals human desires and vices, aspirations, and doubts. The plot is full of contrasts, unexpected turns, and contradictory acts. Among all this, only the main character does not change. Despite the noticeable differences from a healthy person, Gump does what is beyond the control of even genius. The man easily fulfilled the American dream and became famous. Forrest Gump’s story begins at the bus stop and ends there. Only this stop becomes the beginning of another person’s life story. The boy who was named after his father – called Forest Gump.

Davis, Gary E. “Forrest Gump Lives, or How the George Wright Society Helped Me Learn to Overcome Existential Career Adversity.” The George Wright Forum , vol. 35, no. 3. 2018, pp. 289-295.

Forrest Gump. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Perfamces by Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, et al. Paramount. 1994.

Rizki, Kevin. The Eight Stages Development Analysis Of Forrest Gump In Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump . Dissertation, Diponegoro University, 2019.

Robles, Nadia Alyssa.”Film Analysis of “Forrest Gump”. Angelo State University Social Sciences Research Journal, 2019.

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IvyPanda. (2022, February 12). Forrest Gump Character Analysis.

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Forrest Gump

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Forrest is the protagonist of the novel. As an adult, his IQ is somewhere near 70, but in some areas he has savant-like intelligence . He is able to beat master chess players because he can see the patterns on the board. He can do NASA-level mathematical formulas because they make sense to specific parts of his mind. He is physically coordinated and incredibly strong, even for his large size. Most importantly, he is kind throughout the novel. He never seeks out his adventures or glories, but rather, they seem to find him, because he is open to new opportunities and is always looking for ways to help people.

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Forrest Gump Character Analysis in Terms of Psychology

Forrest Gump Character Analysis in Terms of Psychology essay

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Forrest gump: psychological analysis.

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.
  • Gump, F., & Conkey, C. (1994). Forrest Gump. Random House.
  • Hergenhahn, B. R., & Olson, M. H. (2018). An Introduction to Theories of Learning (10th ed.). Routledge.
  • McLeod, S. (2018). Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from
  • Myers, D. G. (2014). Exploring Psychology (9th ed.). Worth Publishers.
  • Steinberg, S. (2018). The Psychological Movie Review : Forrest Gump. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

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Home / Essay Samples / Entertainment / Movies / Forrest Gump

Analysis of the Characters of the Heroes Forrest Gump

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Literature , Entertainment

Character , Forrest Gump

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Works cited

  • Gump, F., & Roth, W. (1994). Forrest Gump: A novel. Pocket Books.
  • Groom, W. (2006). The unstoppable Gump: Forrest Gump meets Ahab. The Alabama Review, 59(4), 243-252.
  • Kuntz, K. J. (2018). A journey through the memories: the story of Forrest Gump. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 46(3), 152-161.
  • Parker, R. (2015). The Cultural Significance of Forrest Gump. Journal of Popular Culture, 48(2), 289-301.
  • Rentschler, C. A. (1999). Forrest Gump as postmodern pilgrimage. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 26(4), 162-170.
  • Thompson, R. (1994). The film that never was: Forrest Gump. Film Comment, 30(5), 52-56.
  • Trier, J. (2001). The Odyssey of Forrest Gump: Resurrecting the Hero. Journal of Popular Culture, 34(2), 61-71.
  • Wurtz, J. (1997). Telling America's story: Narrative form and the Reagan presidency in Forrest Gump. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 24(3), 128-135.
  • Zebrowski, C. (2015). A Meal with Forrest Gump: Cuisine, Film and Culture. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Ziliotto, A. (2015). Why does he run? Forrest Gump as a cultural icon. Journal of American Culture, 38(1), 40-50.

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Character Analysis Essay on Forrest Gump: A Protagonist Who Changed a Storyline

Character Analysis Essay on Forrest Gump: A Protagonist Who Changed a Storyline


Forrest Gump is a personality who features as the protagonist in the American film titled in the same. Released in 1993 and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie is an adaptation of a novel bearing the same title, which was published back in 1986. As the main character in the film, Gump plays a critical role in developing not only the storyline but also engages in actions that are quite revealing in so far as the theme of the movie is concerned. Therefore, Gump's significant position in the film's success is what motivated the choice for this activity of assessing personality and behavior. In this regard, the paper covers the character trait of Forrest Gump as demonstrated in the film and how such expressions correspond to the personality theories.

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How Gump handles issues in the film shows how unique his personality is in the context of the story. The story begins in 1981, with Gump seated on a bench with strangers while holding a white feather that had landed in the area. The story recounts a series of events that had occurred in the life of the protagonist. Thus, the whole narration is captured in the form of a flashback, almost perfectly capturing the personality of the character. Gump is depicted as an individual with mental retardation with an IQ measuring 75. Due to this trait, he was sneered and bullied as a boy. However, the presence of a strong-willed mother and the understanding of a schoolmate named Jenny helped Gump to live through the hard experience of bullying and sneering successfully. More importantly, the role of the mentioned individuals shaped Gump into a unique character, which would prove critical in his ability to navigate the various challenges of life (Yang, 2014). This can be demonstrated in his accomplishments as well in the manner in which he related to people throughout the movie.

Despite mental having retardation, Gump surprisingly turns to be a man of great personality. Throughout the movie, he is depicted as an intelligent person, a personality attribute that plays an important in helping accomplish what is registered in the storyline. Besides, Gump relies on is life experience to not only relate with individuals and also get himself out of situations that challenge his abilities to achieve personal objectives. According to Yang (2014), Gump's intelligence and life experience decide how the characters in the film relate with others, thereby enhancing his role in the development of the theme of the movie. For instance, following the deployment to serve in the US Army in Vietnam, Gump shows great bravery when he saved several of his platoon-mates after an ambush. The emotion and compassion shown in this scene depict Gump as an individual who cares for others and thus would not hesitate to help whenever necessary. Such acts relate to the essential elements of his personality.

Gump and Personality Theories

Personality contributes significantly to how one responds to situations. It constitutes characteristics that make an individual unique when compared with other members of society (Kernberg, 2016). In this respect, personality theories help one to understand why a particular individual behaves in a specified manner as opposed to the other. In the case of Gump, personality theories can also be used to illustrate the personality of the protagonist, as portrayed in the film. For this investigation, the psychoanalytic and humanistic theories will be used to explain the character of Gump and how such perspectives influence his actions in the movie.

Psychoanalytic Perspective and the Life of Forrest Gump

The psychoanalytic perspective seeks to explain personality in the context of unconsciousness. According to this theory, all human beings possess unconscious feelings, thoughts, memories, and desires. These emotional elements often create conflicts within an individual when in the unconscious state hence the need to turn the unconscious content into conscious awareness to effectively deal with such conflicts. By so doing, one is capable of relieving themselves of the unconscious conflicts and gain insight into their current state of mind as a way of recognizing that something is bothering with their healthy lives. Based on this perspective, the development of personality is heavily influenced during childhood (Hindle & Smith, 2013). Manifestations of personality as per the psychoanalytic perspective may be in the form of enhanced or weakened ability to deal with psychological problems such as depression and anxiety in the ordinary course of life. In the case study, there are situations in the film which support the provisions of psychoanalysis as a means of explaining the personality of Gump.

A look at the life of Gump in the course of the film reveals that the attempts to deal with unconscious aspects of his mind during childhood may have played a significant part in the development of his personality. As noted previously, Gump appeared retarded as a child, and this exposed him a lot of ridicule among his peers. Although he got some support from his mother and friend, a positive personal reaction to such a depressing experience as an individual cannot be underestimated. Set Gump's childhood, the audience sees the young boy run away from the bullies upon realizing he no longer needs the leg braces to escape the brutal life of mistreatment from others. Forging up a relationship with Jenny is also crucial as it shows the consciousness on the part of Gump regarding the ability of friendship to help him overcome the bullying challenges. Even in the case of tracing his girlfriend, Jenny, he manages to deal with the reality of having sired a son without knowing for a long time. He reconciles with the new revelation with easy for his peace and happiness. The highlighted cases suggest an ability to resolve conflicts as proposed in the psychoanalytic perspective.

The Humanistic Perspective and the Life of Forrest Gump

The humanistic theory emphasizes the role of empathy and doing good unto others in society as an explanation for some personalities. The expectation of being humane is based on the idea that all human beings are assumed to have similar aspirations. It also focuses on elements such as psychological growth, free will, and personal awareness. Under this theory, individuals believe that their destiny depends on the conscious choices they make, and sustainable happiness can be achieved if their own flaws and bad past experiences are discarded (Stefaroi, 2012). In essence, it seeks to explore the positive outlook of human beings and the ability to achieve individual potential. In the case of Gump, freewill and showing empathy (by doing good to others) are vital in explaining the personality displayed in the film.

One incident in the movie that explains Gump's personality is the conversation with his mother. Throughout his childhood, the mother played a vital role in guiding the life of Gump. It is based on this background that the protagonist seeks advice from the mother on how he would navigate the challenges of life when she is gone. For instance, shortly before dying, she advises his son to make his destiny by getting out the best God gave him as a human being. Practically, it offered Forrest the opportunity to steer his life as he intended, and this can be seen in his decision to look for Jenny despite the disjointed life the girlfriend lived. Gump also decided to enroll in the US Army. He further built a successful business after leaving the forces. All these actions show a man who seeks to create personal success and happiness with little control from other people.

Being emphatic and doing good to others are prominent. From childhood, Gump is determined to good to others despite encountering harsh experiences. Perhaps the most eye-catching scene is his determination to save his friend, Bubba, on the battlefield in Vietnam. Although he failed to save his friend, he rescues his fellow combatants, an act of heroism and humanity. In exposing the Watergate Scandal, one can only see good to the public by exposing the ills of the Nixon administration.

Humanistic Perspective versus Psychoanalytic Perspective

One personality theory may be more extensive in explaining the life of an individual than another. In this case scenario, both perspectives give great insight into the life of Gump. However, the humanistic theory provides a more detailed account of the personality of Forrest Gump. This can be seen in the various incidences in the film that support such a theory.

Hindle, D., & Smith, M. V. (2013). Personality development: A psychoanalytic perspective. London, England: Routledge.

Kernberg, O. F. (2016). What is personality? Journal of Personality Disorders, 30(2), 145-156. Retrieved from

Stefaroi, P. (2012). The humanistic approach in psychology & psychotherapy, sociology & social work, pedagogy & education, management and art: Personal development and community development. Petru Stefaroi.

Yang, R. (2014). The influences of Forrest Gump's characters on his language characteristics in film Forrest Gump. Canadian Social Science. Retrieved from

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