In the beginning of the movie we see Forrest and the visible characteristics of his disability. He has to wear his leg braces because of his weak joints. We see his encounters with the society that reflect society’s notion of a healthy and sound body. In one scene his leg braces get stuck by the pavement and the senior members of the society around him stare at him as his mother helps him get his foot free. In another scene, kids of his age throw rocks at him because he looks physically odd. This strongly suggests that society has made up its mind about an ideal body. Initially Forrest is denied admission in a school because his IQ is 75 and according to school policy only children of IQ above 80 can be given admission. The principle even suggests sending him to a school for special children. This scene makes it clear that society has drawn a line between normal and mentally challenged people.
Lieutenant Dan Taylor was living a very honorable and respectable life until he lost his legs in an army operation. After Forrest saves his life, he loathes him for doing that because he knows what kind of troubles he will be facing as a disabled person. Before even making an effort to regain his honor, our character loses hope and indulges in alcohol and women. He starts living in wretched conditions with no job. He is bound to a wheelchair and to suffer the discrimination in employment. Society looks down upon him as an unproductive member of society. What society does not realize is that he became unproductive while serving his country in what was then meant by the productive way. Dan being an army man is of the view that men should have strong and robust bodies to face the challenges of life and to dominate others when there is competition. He prefers to die than live a life without his limbs. Later in the movie Forrest mentions that Dan told him that since he has no limbs, he does arm exercises to make