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"Forrest Gump"- Heroes and Film

Ray presents us with a paradigm through which we can analyze Forrest Gump - the hero of the 1994 movie of the same name, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Gump more closely fits the model that Ray puts forth of the outlaw hero, although he also incorporates elements of the official hero. The movie follows Gump (played by Tom Hanks), beginning with his childhood through middle age. The character is what used to be called "slow" and now is generally called something like developmentally disabled. But while the older term is now generally seen to be derogatory, it is in fact a good one for Gump, who appreciates life at a slower pace than do the rest of us. While his slowness might make it seem as if he were missing out on important parts of life, in fact - the movie suggests - he simply has more time to appreciate those moments that the rest of us simply rush through. The film presents us with a series of images - using archival footage of John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Richard M. Nixon, George Wallace among others - to demonstrate to us the everyday heroism of Gump's life as he continually works to attempt to overcome the challenges that life puts before him. As such, he is the embodiment of Ray's outlaw hero, but he also embodies a commitment to the importance of community that Ray argues is more typically associated with the official hero:

Embodied in the adventurer, explorer, gunfighter, wanderer, and loner, the outlaw hero stood for that part of the American ima

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