编辑： 天下知教育小编 发布日期： 2020-05-24
One character that I would like to invite to dinner is the title character from Forrest Gump, and I would also invite his girlfriend/wife Jenny. An Alabama boy born slow-witted, Forrest manages to adapt to an unfriendly boyhood, survive the Vietnam War and thrive in the post-war era. In many people’s minds, this is an inspiring and heartwarming story, but I don’t share their enthusiasm. If I could meet Forrest and Jenny, my questions to them probably would not be so pleasant.
In my view, the novel stinks of conservatism from head to toe. Forrest comes from Alabama, a Bible-Belt “red” state, and it is repeatedly and strongly indicated in the book that Alabama is the only pure and sweet home that will always remain true to you (as sung in the song “Sweet Home Alabama”), while those tempted to explore the outside world are doomed to fail. It is usually presumed that travelling or moving to big and multicultural cities can help us broaden horizons and gain experience, yet Jenny’s lessons there “creatively” challenges such an assumption. We don’t see Jenny make any progress outside her hometown; on the contrary, she ends up living a corrupt and immoral life, corroded by substance abuse and promiscuity.
The story slips into an even more obnoxious direction when it comes to the Vietnam War. People like Forrest who fight and kill in the war are depicted as heroes, while those who oppose the war are ridiculed as clowns. When Forrest walks out of the White House, having received the Medal of Honour, he encounters Jenny, who now joins protestants in an antiwar march. Unfortunately, we see Jenny is actually nothing more than a mistress of the hippie leader. Unsurprisingly, when she later sinks in remorse and despair, it is Forrest who comes to her rescue, telling her to “come back home to Alabama.”
I sincerely believe that Forrest is an earnest boy with upright character, but I highly suspect that his story is manipulated to spread out very misleading messages. So, I really want to ask him, “How do you define patriotism? Do you really think only those who support the war deserve to be called patriots? What about the victims from both sides?” I would also ask Jenny, “Later in your life, do you regret your opposition to the war? Does love for peace necessarily means moral depravity?”