Forrest Gump, the protagonist of Groom’s book is born in a family of modest financial background. His father worked at the docks as a longshoreman and his mother was an unassuming wife and mother. However, Gump’s loss of his father at an early age and his development as an individual with an IQ below the accepted levels of average intelligence, did little to add a cheerful backdrop to his growing up years. However, being the “half-wit” that he believed he was, he “ran” through every phase of his life, absorbing the opening and closing of events with the passive interest of a by-stander.
The movie ‘Forrest Gump’ directed by Robert Zemeckis is a near-adaptation of the book by the same name and brings the character of Forrest to a virtual reality. Released in 1994 in U.S.A, this movie drew the attention of critics by the virtue of its unpretentious story-line and range of historical events that were instrumental in crafting a nation’s character. The movie thus became the peddle-pusher for the book and even though the book had earned a name for itself as a mantle-piece must-read, the film fuelled a collective societal interest in the phenomenon called ‘Gump’ in particular and 20th century American history in general.
Even though the movie seems to follow the book’s story line in terms of character development and event sequence; however, there are several discrepancies between the original work and the adaptation. Whether, these dissimilarities occurred owing to the requirements of artistic adaptation or it was the handiwork of an astute director to cater to the masses, remains to be discussed.
The main character, Forrest Gump, in the book is described as a six foot six inch strapping young lad at 16 who weighs 242 pounds. However, in the movie, Gump comes across as an individual with average height and a rather scrawny built as a young boy. The young Gump’s leg braces as shown in the movie are never