The Symbolism of Forrest Gump’s Gesture at Jenny’s Grave
Forrest Gump is considered to be one of the most beloved films of all time. The movie follows the life story of Forrest Gump, a simple-minded man with a heart of gold, as he crosses paths with many historical figures and events in the United States during the 20th century. However, as much as the movie is about Forrest, it is also a love story of sorts. The relationship between Forrest and Jenny is complex and moving, and it culminates with a powerful moment that has become iconic in cinematic history—the scene in which Forrest lays a bouquet of flowers at Jenny’s grave, with the misty mountains serving as a backdrop. This article will explore the symbolic meaning of this gesture, and what it says about the relationship between Forrest and Jenny.
The Characters of Forrest and Jenny
Before we dive into the symbolism of the scene, let’s briefly review the characters of Forrest and Jenny. Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, is a simple man with a childlike innocence. Although he is not very bright according to traditional standards, he possesses a wisdom that is intuitive and pure. Throughout his life, Forrest has always loved Jenny Curran. She is played by Robin Wright, and is depicted as a girl with a troubled past. We see her being abused by her father, and later using drugs and living a life of excess in order to escape her problems. But despite all of that, Jenny and Forrest share a bond that endures through the years.
The Symbolism of Forrest’s Gesture
Now, let’s examine the symbolic meaning of Forrest’s gift at Jenny’s grave. The bouquet of flowers that Forrest lays on Jenny’s grave is a powerful symbol of love and remembrance. Flowers have long been associated with emotions and sentiments that are difficult to put into words. They are often given as gifts to express love, admiration, gratitude, and sympathy. In this scene, the flowers represent Forrest’s undying love for Jenny, even though she has passed away. By placing them on her grave, Forrest is expressing his sadness at her loss, but also his gratitude for having had her in his life. The flowers are a way of saying, “I remember you, and I will always love you.”
The misty mountains in the background also hold great symbolic significance. They represent the vastness of the universe and the infinite nature of time. We are reminded that life is but a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, and that all things must come to an end. The mountains serve as a reminder of the impermanence of life, and underscore the significance of the love that Forrest and Jenny shared.
But there is another layer of symbolism at play in this scene as well. The fact that Forrest lays the flowers on Jenny’s grave shows that he has come to accept her death. Throughout the movie, Forrest struggles to understand the concept of death. He doesn’t like to think about it, and he doesn’t understand why people have to die. But by laying the flowers on Jenny’s grave, he is acknowledging that death is a part of life, and that even though it is sad, it is something that must be accepted. This is a powerful message, and one that is often hard to grapple with.
Closure for Forrest
The scene is also significant because it represents closure for Forrest. Throughout their lives, Forrest and Jenny had a complicated relationship. Jenny often ran away from him, and he always pursued her, thinking that she was the love of his life. But by laying the flowers on her grave, Forrest is finally able to let go of the past. He has come to terms with the fact that Jenny is gone, and that he must move on with his life. The flowers represent the final chapter of their story, and leave us with a sense of closure.
In conclusion, the symbolism of Forrest’s gesture at Jenny’s grave is multi-layered and complex. The flowers represent love, remembrance, gratitude, and acceptance. The misty mountains in the background represent the impermanence of life and the significance of the love that Forrest and Jenny shared. And the act of laying the flowers on Jenny’s grave represents closure for Forrest, as he finally comes to terms with the loss of his beloved. All of these elements come together to create one of the most moving moments in cinematic history. It is a testament to the power of love, and the capacity of the human heart to endure through even the toughest of times.