The True Forrest Gump: The Book Vs. The Movie

1893 words - 8 pages

“Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get” (Hanks). Many times when books are changed into movies they are done incorrectly. Forrest Gump is one of these examples. Forrest Gump, the novel, was written in 1986 by the author Winston Groom. The movie Forrest Gump was created by Paramount Pictures in 1994. Tom Hanks stars as the main character Forrest Gump. The movie portrayed Forrest Gump in a different way and as sometimes more innocent than his character in the book. This is shown in three different ways: Jenny and Forrest’s relationship, Characters’ drug use, and in the book Forrest is involved in more activities and adventures.
While there are many differences between the two, there are still some key similarities that are important to mention. One of the key similarities is that a lot of the main or important characters are still involved. The book features characters such as Jenny, Lt. Dan, Mama, and Bubba. All of these characters are portrayed as major parts in the movie. The New York Times talked about this fact in their film review of the movie in the article “Tom Hanks as an Interloper in History.” Janet Maslin, the reviewer, states that, “(Forrest) was disabled as a young boy but goaded by his loving Mama (Sally Fields) to make the best of his abilities” (Maslin 2). The reason why the movie kept these characters was because they play a major part in Forrest’s life. Maslin explained this with his relationship with his mother. In both the book and the movie, characters like Mama effect the growth and development of Forrest. They also play a major role of the lifestyle he lives and the achievements he has. Such as the friendship Forrest has with Lt. Dan and what Forrest learns or experiences from the friendship.
Another key similarity is between the movie and the novel is that they both place Forrest into events such as the desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Vietnam War. This puts us as the viewers into a position to see what the time was like around his life. It gave us a chance in both the movie and the book to see more of the adventures that he was on and how they all affected him in his development as a character. It was used instead of creating many new events to just keep the idea of some of them and add Forrest into that event. Giles Hugo, a writer for the online site The Write Stuff, he talks about how the producers of the movie kept the idea of Forrest’s adventures in Vietnam saying “ Gump does save a bunch of his buddies in the jungles of ‘Nam” (Hugo 2). A lot of the events that happen to Forrest in the book are transferred over to the movie for major plot lines. Such as playing Ping-Pong in China or being a shrimp boat captain and meeting a few presidents. Without keeping these events as major story lines, the movie would not have had very much to go on.
Even though the movie kept a few similarities, much of the film was different. An example of this would have to be the...

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