Forrest Gump was a blockbuster movie, but the book is a stark contrast to it. It's as if they just took the premise of the book, and just ran with it to create the movie. I don't remember seeing Forrest as an astronaut, and surely, I would've remembered Forrest being stranded on a remote island in the Pacific with an ape and a woman officer as company! So pick up the book, if you're enrolled in English 365 at Anderson University this fall.
Even if you're not in the class, feel welcome to follow along. If you need to purchase the book, click here. It's getting close to the start of school, and Forrest Gump is the second book of seven we will cover in addition to the textbook. These stories I'll assume we are comparing to the film for a college level analysis. This column is set up to be an accompaniment of the course, but will evolve into its own column at the conclusion of the course.
Especially for my non-classmate readers, I'd love to have you comment on books you'd like to cover beginning in January of 2014. You can just write the title of suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of today's column.
- Major Fritsch convinces Big Sam not to kill the ape. So the ape, "Sue" ends up working in the fields planting cotton. (p. 126)
- Big Sam teaches Forrest to play chess, and he plays chess with Forrest every night. (p. 128)
- After working in the fields one day, a tribesmen calls Major Fritsch to the bushes and they get it on. Fritsch agrees to move in with "Grurck".
- Forrest is stuck alone in this little grass hut except an ape, and it turned into years. At night, Forrest and Sue learned a way to communicate. Forrest learns Sue's life story, and about how Sue fell in love with Doris. But Doris was sold from their exhibit one day. All this talk makes him think of Jenny Curran that he misses desperately. (pp. 130-132)
- Major Fritsch and Grurck fall in love
- Big Sam was finally winning a game of chess against Forrest, and Forrest excused himself to go pee (p. 133)
- Forrest rounded up the others to try to escape camp. They were all climbing into a boat on the river when Big Sam showed up with what seemed to be 1,000 natives (pp. 133-134).
- The natives planned on boiling them all up when the pygmies shot an arrow that kept Sue from being hoisted into the pot. The four of them ran for the river in the chaos. The pygmies strung them up in trees like they were a bunch of possums (pp. 134-135)
- The pygmies cook up and shrink the heads of most of the cannibals (pp. 136-138)
- Then they took the four of them into camp (p. 138)
- Just when they were about to find out their fate, a NASA team came to pick them up (pp. 138-139)
- Major Fritsch proclaimed her love for Grurck and jumped out of the boat, running off with him into the jungle (p. 139)
- Sue the ape did the same, not too long afterwards (p. 139)
- Forrest stayed in the boat, and went home to the United States (p. 139)
- There was a huge fanfare for Forrest back in Washington D.C. and he met the President (again...) (pp. 139-140)
- This is a new President and from the description it sounds like Nixon. The President tells Forrest that he should've drowned Chairman Mao in China (pp. 140-141)
- The U.S. government kicks Forrest to the curb with no money when it is all over (pp. 141-142)
- Forrest is out on the streets and found Lt. Dan under a crate in the street (pp. 144-146).
- Lt. Dan and Forrest swap stories of the years they were apart (pp. 146-148)
- Lt. Dan and Forrest went to the mission flophouse. It was there they could get a warm meal and a cot to sleep on. The two decide to set out to find Jenny Curran (p. 148).
- Forrest called their old number in Boston, and of course, Jenny had moved on. Mose said she had moved to Chicago, and gave Forrest the number. When Forrest called Chicago, the man who answered the phone said she took a job at the tire factory in Indianapolis. So Lt. Dan and Forrest head out to Indianapolis (pp. 148-149)
- Lt. Dan and Forrest set out the next morning and tried to hitchhike without much luck. So the two men decide to take the bus to Indianapolis (pp. 149-150)
- Lt. Dan and Forrest find the tire plant, and they aren't allowed back but an employee said that they were about to break for lunch if they walk around back. Jenny emerges and Forrest goes up to talk to her while she is at lunch (p. 150).
- Lt. Dan and Forrest went to the tavern across the street to wait on Jenny to get off work. They make some money in the bar having Forrest arm wrestle people (pp. 151-152)
- Forrest and Jenny catch up on what they've been doing the past few years (pp. 152-153)
- When Jenny went to work the next day, Lt. Dan and Forrest went back to the tavern to hustle people with arm wrestling. A guy at the bar offers Forrest a job wrestling because of his physical strength (pp. 154-155).
- Forrest becomes a professional wrestler and they begin to train him. They decide to call him "the dunce", though Lt. Dan doesn't like it (pp. 156-157).
- Forrest is about to make his debut as a wrestler, and comes out in his costume but it distresses Jenny. Jenny tells him to take off his costume, which he does (pp. 157-158)
Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Monday Morning Book Club column dedicated to writers everywhere, and a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.