Forrest Gump Plot Summary

“Forrest Gump” tells the story of a simple man named Forrest, played by Tom Hanks, who leads an extraordinary life. The first part of the film introduces us to Forrest’s childhood and the events that shape his life.

Part 1: Childhood

Forrest is born with a crooked spine and is often teased and bullied by other children. However, he is supported by his loving mother, who teaches him important life lessons, such as “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest’s mother also encourages him to use his running ability to escape bullies and to chase his dreams.

As a young boy, Forrest meets a girl named Jenny, who becomes his best friend. Jenny is also teased and abused by other children, and Forrest often comes to her defense. Their friendship develops into a close bond that will last throughout their lives.

Forrest’s talent for running leads to a scholarship at the University of Alabama, where he becomes a star football player. However, his education is cut short when he is drafted into the Army to fight in the Vietnam War.

Part 2: Vietnam

The second part of the film focuses on Forrest’s experiences in the Vietnam War. Despite his lack of education, Forrest becomes a highly skilled soldier and is awarded a medal for bravery. However, he is traumatized by the violence and chaos of the war, and he loses many of his friends, including Bubba, a fellow soldier who had dreamed of starting a shrimp business.

During his time in Vietnam, Forrest is introduced to a new technology called the Apple II, which he later invests in and becomes a millionaire. Forrest also meets Lt. Dan, a bitter and angry soldier who blames Forrest for the loss of his legs. However, Forrest saves Lt. Dan’s life, and they become close friends.

Part 3: Fame and Fortune

The third part of the film follows Forrest as he becomes a millionaire and experiences the excesses and extravagances of the 1970s. He uses his wealth to start a shrimping business, fulfilling his promise to Bubba. However, the business is initially unsuccessful, and Forrest loses everything in a hurricane.

Forrest’s life takes a new turn when he receives a call from Jenny, who has become a folk singer in San Francisco. Forrest travels to San Francisco to see Jenny and they become romantically involved. However, their relationship is complicated by Jenny’s drug addiction and her fear of commitment.

Part 4: The Final Act

The final act of the film brings together the themes and characters from the first three parts and provides a powerful and emotional conclusion to the story. Forrest and Jenny marry and have a son, but their happiness is short-lived as Jenny becomes seriously ill. Forrest takes care of her and raises their son as a single father.

The film’s final scene shows Forrest standing at the bus stop with his son, watching him board the school bus for his first day of school. It is a poignant moment that shows us how far Forrest has come and how much he has accomplished in his life.

“Forrest Gump” is a powerful and emotional film that explores the themes of friendship, love, and the American Dream. The film’s four-part structure allows for a deep exploration of its characters and themes, and the film’s final act is a powerful and emotional conclusion that provides a satisfying resolution to the story. The film is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity and to achieve greatness, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.


“Forrest Gump” is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinise. The movie follows the life of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a simple man with a low IQ who unwittingly becomes involved in some of the significant events of the 20th century. Despite his apparent limitations, Forrest’s life is a remarkable journey that takes him from his childhood in Alabama to his time in the Vietnam War and eventually to a successful career in shrimp fishing.

The movie is a touching and heartwarming story that has become a cultural phenomenon, earning widespread critical acclaim and numerous awards, including six Oscars. Tom Hanks’ performance as Forrest is a tour de force, and his character’s journey throughout the film is a testament to the power of perseverance, kindness, and the human spirit.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is its use of historical events to provide a backdrop for Forrest’s journey. From the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal, the movie weaves Forrest’s experiences into these historical moments seamlessly. This use of real-world events to provide context for the story is an excellent example of how storytelling can connect individual experiences to a broader cultural and political landscape.

The film’s narrative structure is also noteworthy, as it blends elements of both linear and non-linear storytelling. Marcel Martin’s concept of story order comes into play, as the story jumps back and forth in time, using flashbacks and other techniques to show Forrest’s life in a nonlinear way. This structure serves to heighten the audience’s emotional connection with the character and to emphasize the thematic elements of the story.

Furthermore, Robert McKee’s concept of subtext is evident in the film, with the characters’ underlying motives and emotions often conveyed through subtle hints rather than explicitly stated. The use of voice-over narration by Forrest is another effective technique that allows the audience to experience the story through his unique perspective.

The film’s musical score is also a standout element, with the use of popular songs from the 1950s to the 1980s adding emotional depth and resonance to the story. The use of these songs serves to further emphasize the movie’s exploration of the changing cultural landscape of America in the 20th century.

“Forrest Gump” is a cinematic triumph that has become a beloved classic. The movie’s innovative storytelling techniques, excellent performances, and powerful themes make it a must-see for anyone interested in the art of cinema. It is a testament to the power of storytelling to inspire, entertain, and move audiences on a deep emotional level.