My example of sexual objectification within the film,

My
Further Oral Activity for English is based on the screenplay of the
movie, Forrest Gump. It
is considered a landmark Americana film due to its landmark use of
pathos to believe in Forrest’s achievements as well as the way it
displays and breaks various stereotypes. I will mainly
be focusing on the latter option.

So
what is ableism? By many, it is considered to be a
way
to discriminate people who have lower physical or mental capability
as well as lower intellect than normal people. These
assumptions are created due to
stereotypes, assumptions, and negative attitudes. In this
film by Robert Zemeckis,
ableism is one the main recurring themes in
the screenplay.
The main character, Forrest Gump, is presented as disabled, better
known as the “local idiot”. Through the portrayal of ability in
this film, the
audience realises the purpose of the film:
disability and any of its accompanied stereotypes and ideologies do
not have
to lower a person’s capability, and that is one of the unique
aspects of the film.

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From
start to finish, Forrest tells his life story to various strangers
while sitting on a bench waiting to catch a bus. We are introduced to
Forrest and his mother as a Southern, slightly underprivileged family
lacking resources. Considering Forrest’s socio-economic status, it
was already enough on its own to be discriminated against through
forms of classism, and not just his mental and physical disadvantage.
Since he was a boy, Forrest did not have any friends because of his
leg braces and extremely limited IQ. Forrest spent the majority of
his childhood being picked on and excluded for being different than
everyone else. One example of this is when Forrest is denied
admission into the local public school, because his IQ falls under
the minimum average. Although in many cases it would not be possible
to make any exceptions, for Forrest it was a much different scenario,
since Forrest’s mother ended up sleeping with the principal in
order to get her son admitted. This scene is also an example of
sexual objectification within the film, considering that the
principal would permit Forrest into the school only on the condition
that mother would sleep with him, showing the appalling ways by which
women are portrayed just as sexual objects. In addition, this event
displays the ideologies surrounding men and women and their statuses
in social standings, such as the ‘power’ of men and the ‘flaws’
of women.

Moreover,
Forrest was not friends with anyone at school or in his locality,
until he met Jenny. She was the first person to allow him to sit
beside her on the bus without feeling embarrassed of being his
friend. Throughout the film, there are many events that take place
that are linked to his relationship with Jenny. She would talk to
Forrest a lot, and was very comfortable with him. She was even able
to talk to him about her sexually-abusive father, which is
significant considering sexual abuse is a really hard aspect to
confess to anyone. Aside from that, no one would think that Forrest
would be able to triumph over his disabilities except his mother and
Jenny

Even
with the assumptions by many people of him being stupid, Forrest did
not care a single bit and became a much more capable man, involving
himself in major events without even knowing it. As a child, Forrest
had gotten so used to having to running away from the bullies that he
became a top-tier runner and athlete. Forrest became so great that he
was able to join the College Football All-America Team on an athletic
scholarship, even if he himself didn’t know how he got admitted. He
continued to run and he became recognized worldwide. After his
graduation, Forrest joins the army, yet again not being certain of
what he had to do there and what he could accomplish. Due to his
outstanding performance and service in the army, he was rewarded with
the Medal of Honour. Forrest is even further followed by greater
achievements, such as creating a multi-million dollar shrimp company
that became famous in the whole of the United States. He had also ran
across the whole country for three years, which is a very ironic yet
an emotional moment considering he could barely even walk as a kid.

Although
the main recurring theme of this film is ableism, the addition of
Forrest’s socio-economic status creates even more stereotyping as
well as more surprise by what he manages to accomplish. Not only did
Forrest exceed all expectations for a disabled person, he also became
one of the richest men in the world, making an extraordinary impact
for someone who came from such a low-income household. Yet he
maintained his humility and stayed in his mother’s house and was,
soon enough, a lawnmower for his local county in Alabama. Good old
Forrest Gump!

It’s
not just Forrest Gump who breaks stereotypes, many of the supporting
characters do so too. Many of the people Forrest cares for have faced
rather sad events or have disabilities, just like Forrest. Benjamin
Buford Blue, better known by the name “Bubba”, was an
African-American as well as Forrest Gump’s best friend in the army.
He was outcasted due to his thick lips that prevented him from
talking properly. His family would work for rich white families, but
after the shrimp company created massive profits, they become rich,
signified by a scene where the family is getting served by a white
maiden. Lieutenant Dan Taylor is another good friend of Forrest.
After the Vietnam War, he became crippled and went into a state of
depression. However, after joining the shrimp company as a senior
shareholder, he regained new hope and was thankful of Forrest to have
given him the opportunity. The lieutenant soon gets artificial legs
made from titanium alloy, creating another sense of triumph and
defeating the perception of society.

It
is interesting
that
even
at the high
points
of Forrest’s life, he was yet
thought of as the
“local idiot”, since he handled every situation
in
a
different and weirder manner than
how any “normal” person might have. Throughout his life, he did
not have the same benefits
as everyone else since he came from a lower class lifestyle with a
lower IQ than the other children. However, regardless of his
disabilities, he managed to achieve so many great things, challenging
every stereotype surrounding disabled people and the presence of
ableism. The analysis of this film has focused the stereotypes and
ideologies surrounding ability as well as how disability, and any
other personal factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, gender
identity, or sexual orientation do not define a person or what they
are capable of. Like
his mother always
said,
“stupid is as stupid does”.