Forrest Gump: Fact or Fiction?

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Last updated: June 20, 2019

Forrest Gump is an American comedy-drama that premiered inF 1994 based off of the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. This film is a mirror of Vietnam with interpretations on political symbolism made by the protagonist. The life of Forrest Gump entails many years of this ordinary Alabama man who travels across the world influencing fashionable culture, meeting historical figures, and experienced historical events of the late twentieth century.Forrest Gump was not only North America’s top selling theatrical success of 1994, but it is also a film describing the terrors of Vietnam War that took place approximately around 1955 to 1975.

In the 1950’s, the United States began to send troops to Vietnam creating the strongest tensions in the United States history with the Chinese and Russians that could potentially lead to a WWIII, but was thankfully called the Vietnam War.Facing a number of cultural differences between these two countries, it was difficult for the United States to portray South Vietnam as a hard working and fighting democracy. The United States President, Johnson, had recently replaced Kennedy after he was assassinated in Texas during 1963.

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Johnson was torn between the differing strategies the United States had for Vietnam and wanted to take our troops out of Vietnam but this would result in losing a war.Because Johnson was too concerned with his image, he did not run for a second term which leads to Nixon taking control later on. I believe neither side won or lost when America withdrew while signing the Paris Peace Accord. North Vietnam took over South Vietnam resulting in a communist region. The movie Forrest Gump does represent Vietnam precisely accurate with a few minor inaccurate accusations.Here are a few factual scenes from the movie: Little Rock Nine, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, the JFK Assassination, Abbie Hoffman visiting the University of Oklahoma protesting the war, Elvis Presley, Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Ku Klux Klan, 1965 Washington DC Group rally, Gump says “Sorry I had to fight in the middle of your Black Panther Party”, and Rosa Parks. There are also a few fictional scenes I caught: Gump giving his seat to Rosa Parks, Gump with John Lennon on the Dick Cavett show, Abbie Hoffman giving Gump the chance to speak about the ar at the Vietnam rally in DC, Gump meeting several United States Presidents at the White House, and Gump picking up a book that was dropped by one of the Little Rock Nine.

In conclusion, this theatrical film portrays the Vietnam War in a light of which viewers can hold a better understanding of this historical event. For the most part, this movie holds actual scenes that replicate actual terrors during the war along with a few inaccurate scenes which I believe are used to make the movie more entertaining for viewers.


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