Forrest Gump by Winston Groom: Analysis



1. Forrest Gump is a novel about a mentally challenged man who overcomes his handicap and explores the world in an adventurous way. Gump has no direction in life; he just spends each day discovering more and more about the world, without any plan or schedule to guide him.



"...I am tole they is lettin me out of the Army early. It don't take but a day or so, and then I am gone...Now I got to decide what to do." This proves how Gump goes from one adventure to the next, without knowing what to do or where to go next.



"...We got in the little rowboat an paddled up to Bayou La Batre an caught the bus to Mobile. The lady in the ticket office there say, "Where do you want to go?" an I shrugged my shoulders, so she say, "Why don't you go to Savannah? I been there once and it is a real nice town." So that's what we did." This also proves how Gump has no direction in life, he just goes to different places for the sake of exploring them. He is very spontaneous.





2. One particular setting in this novel is when Gump sets up his own shrimping business, in the riverbanks of the Mississippi. The reasons why this is such a special setting is because:

a) the atmosphere during this time and place is very calm and relaxed. The reason for this mood is because Gump's dream of being a boat captain has been fulfilled, and he has found some peace and quiet; he no longer wanders around aimlessly.

b) Gump finally has a purpose in life. He is finally laboring and earning money the hard and honest way. He is at peace with himself. The reward for working hard, and the result of working in a pleasant, simple environment is that he becomes extremely prosperous and wealthy.





3. The point of view in this novel is first-person. The reason why the author chose to write the book through Gump's eyes is because he wanted to convey Gump's deepest feelings, as well as to show the reader to what extent Gump's mental challenge affects the way he interacts with society.



"... Now I'm slow-I'll grant you that, but I'm probly a lot brighter than folks think, cause what goes on in my mind is a sight different than what folks see." This clearly show how the author chose to write the novel through Gump's eyes and have him describe himself. It give the reader a clearer sense of Gump's view on things and his perception of his own mental capacity.



"Well, so what? I may be a idiot, but most of the time, anyway, I tried to do the right thing-an dreams is jus dreams, ain't they? So whatever else happened, I am figgerin this: I can always look back an say, at least I ain't led no hum-drum life." Again, this proves how Gump is more than just a character in a book, he is aware of his existence and of his own capacities and limitations. I believe it was the best possible style to write this book.





4. The end of the book, in my opinion, is a little rushed. I believe this is due to the fact that the author changed his style of writing somewhere in the middle of the book, where there is a considerable amount of profanity and zaniness, more than before. After this noticeable change, Gump goes through a number of random events. These random events hint that the author ceased following a plan for writing this book, and therefore the ending was just a quick conclusion to a number of random events. I also believe that because the author changed his writing scheme in the middle of the book, there were no events leading up to a final climax and a grand finale or a conclusion; the ending could have been just another random event, it had no sign that it was the final scene. A good ending would have left me craving more or wanting to find out what will happen to the characters. With this ending, I felt little regard for them.





5. Irony: 1. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. 2. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous