Study Guide

Forrest Gump Warfare

Warfare

One of the biggest events in Forrest Gump's life is fighting in the Vietnam War. Fair enough; it was also one of the biggest events in 20th-century American history, and one of the most unpopular wars in U.S. history—at least it was in 1994, when the movie came out. For Forrest, though, the war only matters because of the people: Bubba, Lt. Dan, and all of his fellow soldiers he rescued or saw die. The big question of Forrest Gump is this: does the movie take a stance on the Vietnam War as a political event, or, like Forrest, does it completely ignore the underlying causes and just follow orders?

Questions About Warfare

  1. Who convinces Forrest to join the Army after he graduates from college? Is it a tough sell? What post-college advice would you have given him?
  2. What advice does Jenny give Forrest for when he goes to war and things get crazy? Does he follow it?
  3. Why does Lt. Dan want to die on the battlefield? Why is he mad at Forrest for saving him?
  4. Does Forrest Gump seem to have an opinion on warfare, or is it as apolitical as its hero?

Chew on This

In Forrest Gump, we learn that when it comes to warfare, some outcomes are worse than dying.

Forrest Gump is weak in its refusal to take a moral stance on the Vietnam War.

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