Forrest Gump’s hidden detail reveals the dark secret of his demise
Jenny’s scrapbook included Forrest Gump, an easily overlooked detail, changes both the nature of Forrest’s story and the film’s ending by adding a much darker twist. published in 1994, Forrest Gump was an instant classic and secured six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Adapted by screenwriter Eric Roth from the novel of the same name by Winston Groom, Forrest Gump functions as an examination of modern history, the title character of which played a role in almost every major event in American history in the second half of the 20th century.
Forrest Gump may seem like one of the most innocent protagonists in all of cinema, but one small detail hints at a darker side to the character. Ironically, Jenny’s scrapbook offers a glimpse of a newspaper clipping that indicates Forrest has encountered significant legal troubles. This adds another layer to the film that changes everything: not only does Forrest Gump’s personality seem less innocent, the ending of the film changes completely and makes Jenny appear in a much more sympathetic light.
Jenny’s scrapbook reveals Forrest’s dark secret
Jenny’s scrapbook included Forrest Gump, chronicling Forrest’s extraordinary life is an obvious sign of her affection for him. However, one newspaper clipping has the headline “Gump Investigation Continues in Hometown.” Scribbled at the top is the date of August 30, 1978, with the text below stating: “Friends of Forrest Gump were characteristically evasive in their assumptions about his actions. “He never knew what he was doing,” said Emilio Sergia. Most people who grew up with him have strong opinions of him. Twelve out of twenty people would just say, “He’s an idiot,” as if that should explain everything.“
This suggests that Forrest Gump may have a dark secret, as any investigation into the man thorough enough to visit his hometown and interview locals seems particularly robust. The text itself is relatively ambiguous, but the article’s date places it after Forrest received his Medal of Honor and made his fortune. These details are particularly relevant to narrowing down the precise nature of the investigation into Gump and Forrest Gump’s legal troubles.
What is the cause of Forrest Gump’s legal troubles?
The exact cause of Forrest’s legal troubles is speculative, as per the article in Jenny’s scrapbook in Forrest Gump does not offer specific details. However, the specific way his business, Bubba Gump Shrimp, is run offers a clue as to what the cause might be. After Forrest returns home from Vietnam, he is seen doing business with his former CO, Lieutenant Dan. Forrest Gump is shown entrusting the day-to-day chores to his partner, stating that he never returned.Work for Lieutenant Dan.“
Since Lieutenant Dan is characterized as a more worldly and ruthless figure than Forrest, it’s entirely possible that he was involved in criminal activities while running the company. As the company’s founder, Forrest would be involved in anything illegal Dan was involved in, especially since it bears his name. This, along with other small pieces of evidence that suggest Lieutenant Dan Forrest may have cheated, seems the most likely reason for Gump’s legal troubles. However, once viewed through this lens, Forrest Gump‘s criminal theories continue to expand.
Forrest may be trying to influence the townspeople
As the film begins, Forrest Gump begins telling his story to someone he meets at a bus stop. Throughout the film, he recounts the events of his life to whoever will listen as the other travelers come and go. However, consider the newspaper clipping seen in Jenny’s scrapbook Forrest Gumpit could be that Forrest is trying to get the townsfolk on his side.
The clip is from 1978 and the framing scenes at the bus stop are set in 1982. When Gump returns to his hometown, it’s possible that he’ll tell the locals his story in his own words to ingratiate himself with them. After three years it’s reasonable to assume that the investigation against him has been dropped, so perhaps telling his life story in his own words was his way of revising the narrative. Forrest Gumps story is largely told from his own perspective, and given the potential nature of the investigations against him, he may be an unreliable narrator.
Small details suggest Forrest is a scam
There are two small details in the film that suggest Forrest is not quite the man he makes himself out to be. The first is simple: if he’s so rich, why would he wear such disgusting, well-worn shoes? According to the theory, this is because he lost his money in the course of (or completing) the investigations mentioned in Jenny’s scrapbook Forrest Gump.
However, there is another important piece of evidence. The letter Forrest received from Apple thanking him for his investment is dated 1975, several years before the company went public. In fact, Apple hadn’t even been incorporated in 1975, making the letter seem like a ploy by Forrest Gump’s friend Lieutenant Dan to scam him and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It’s possible that Dan used the company to launder money from a criminal enterprise, and that Forrest’s “luck” was actually the result of illegal activity, writing the letter to explain his sudden good fortune to his naïve friend.
How theory changed the ending of Forrest Gump
The idea that Forrest Gump actually got involved in something illegal and lost all his money as a result depends on a few small details, but if accepted as truth, it completely changes the ending of the film. While viewers have accused Jenny of using Forrest for his wealth – and making Jenny’s scrapbook Forrest Gump more of a manipulative move – the criminal theory actually reverses roles, with Forrest Gump taking advantage of Jenny’s illness to secure a home and a comfortable life for himself. Perhaps the additional presence of his son, Forrest Jr., was simply an unexpected bonus.
Being the one who created the scrapbook means Jenny would have been aware of Forrest’s legal troubles. Since she invited him to come anyway, it was possible that she was being pragmatic about her situation: she was dying, and Forrest Jr. had a father who was also needing to bounce back after becoming involved in something undesirable. If the theory is accepted as true, Forrest GumpIn the end, it’s actually more about Jenny’s ability to forgive than Forrest’s.
This isn’t the darkest Forrest Gump theory
Beyond Jenny’s scrapbook Forrest Gump, the film’s timeless appeal, open ending, and massive but incomplete story have prompted a string of much darker fan theories than Forrest Gump’s legal troubles. Citing Forrest Gump’s incredible exploits – many of which couldn’t possibly have happened during notable events in the story – viewers have speculated that Forrest is actually dead and that his narrative of events are actually the dreams of a child with leg braces that deadly bullies are not could escape.
Meanwhile, another theory posits that Forrest Jr. isn’t actually Forrest and Jenny’s child — and that Jenny actually passed her illness on to both of them. Morbid, flashy, complex, and endlessly interesting, these fan theories are great examples of how a simple realignment of one’s perspective can change, even completely Forrest Gumpone of Hollywood’s healthiest classics.
Next: Forrest Gump’s Son Isn’t Actually His Child – Theory Explained
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