Psychological Disorders Research Paper Sample
Forrest Gump; the main character and his autistic condition
Forrest was born in Alabama and was raised by his kindhearted mother who did everything possible to support her son. The character had a low IQ that made people laugh at him, make jokes to him, and force him to undertake some duties without raising any complain (Groom, 1994). He was born with a crooked spine, which almost influenced his ability to walk and run. Forrest’s low IQ condition made him to be taken to a special school because almost all public schools had rejected him. On his first day to school, he met Jenny who was important in his life. One day when he was being bullied, Jenny advised him to run and his leg braces broke down but he continued to run even faster. This was the last time he used braces for walking.
Jenny and Forrest’s friendship was sustained through high school, despite the challenges the latter faced from bullies. One day, when being chased by bullies, he crossed the field while a football match was on-going and the Alabama Crimson Tide head coach spotted him because he was running faster that players in the field. For this reason, the coach took him and trained him to be one of his players in the team. While playing for the team, he secured a scholarship to Alabama University because of his exemplary performance that helped the team to win many matches. After graduation, he enlisted with the Army and met bubba who became his friend for some time. Although, many whites are known to avoid ties with black, Forrest’s autism health complication made him to establish strong ties with Bubba, whose death changed his life.
Forrest obeyed all commands in the army, but one day their platoon was attacked by Vietnamese and his friend succumbed to the war injuries. He also suffered a shot that hit on his rear end making him to spend some time in the Military health facility. During the time he was receiving his medal of honor from the president for his bravery, he honored the request of the President who wanted to know where he was hit. He acted foolishly when he dropped his pants to show where he was shot (Groom, 2013). After that, he went to look for Jenny, found her in Washington and showed her the Medal of Honor. Throughout the scenes, Forrest acts weirdly and in a funny way. As the scenes ends, Forrest meets Jenny who introduces him to his son. Jenny dies later and Forrest is seen out seeing his son off to school.
Throughout the text, Forrest is seen as fearful, and as an autistic person. These mental disabilities affect his personality in a way that encourages bullies to keep chasing him. Forrest suffers mental disability when he is at the age of eight and the condition affects him throughout his life. Although, he was fearful, his autistic nature made him to develop excellent physical abilities such as running. The excellent skills to run were highlighted when he was a footballer and when he was in the military. His autistic problem improved his masculinity gender character in such a way that he played football well. Apart from that, he became an awesome and well-performed army officer, a move that made him honored by the president.
When at the barracks, Forrest is given a role of being in-charge of the kitchen perhaps because of his low IQ level. One day, he while in the kitchen, he caused the boilers to blow and because of that, he was tamed within the barracks for some time. While in the army, he was badly wounded and he spent some time in hospital at Danang. One day, while on the sick bed, Forrest woke up, picked Ping-Pong, and beat everyone. Such weird actions affected his personality in a way that people feared relating with him. He played well in several matches, but one day while on a trip, he saved Mao the Chinese chair from drowning. For that reason, the Chinese government acknowledged him and even restored the distorted relationship between America and China. His actions were ironical from what was expected of an American because his country was previously at conflicts with China, and that Mao could have been treated as an enemy. A rational person cannot be introduced to marijuana for the first time and he takes it without asking. Mose introduced Forrest to drug abuse, which affected his way of doing things.
One day when in town, he decided to take a plastic bag from the garbage to shelter in it because it was raining. His actions could be compared to that of an insane person (who was sheltering in the plastic bag because Forrest lifted it) because a normal person cannot shelter in a plastic bag close to a garbage site. After that, Forrest weird behavior and personality encouraged him to look for Jenny (Groom 1994). He made a call to Mose and he was informed that Jenny was in Indianapolis and that he separated from his previous lover. His conscious did not elicit a feeling of jealous about Jenny’s behavior of having a different lover other than him. During another match, Forrest was told that the Turd had to win the match, he forcefully entered the ring, and his entry caused Turd to hit him until he fell down. Dan and Jenny looked at him mercifully when he accepted defeat from the Turd.
Integration of Psychological Perspectives
Even though Forrest had autistic medical condition, he never experienced sleep that influenced is way of doing things. However, he started doing things slowly after Mose’s introduction of marijuana to him. Forrest level of intelligence influenced his ability to do things in weird ways. After being chased by bullies, he crossed the football field while the match was on going. After graduation, he joined the military, but started working from the kitchen. While there, he mishandled the boilers or used wrong ways of cooking until the boilers blew off. For that reason, he was confined within the barracks for sometimes. In another incidence, Mose introduced Forrest to Marijuana, when he took it, he started dancing to show how well the drug had influenced his mind. The practice continued and when Jenny noticed, he ran away because she was not pleased (Groom, 2012).
When in Vietnam, he carelessly exposed himself to the enemy and he was shot on the buttocks, although he fought courageously, he spent time in the military health facility. He made it and was honored by the president for doing a good job. During the ceremony, his low level of intelligence made him drop his pants for the president to see where he was shot. Even if the president had asked where he was shot, he could have pointed the place and not put off his pant in public. Indeed his low level of IQ made him indulge in weird activities or performed funny roles to people he could have respected. As one goes through the text, he will note some of the symptoms Forrest suffers because of low IQ.
According to the Maslow theory of motivation, an individual will be motivated to achieve the insatiable needs, and superiors are usually encouraged to motivate juniors by availing or providing necessary need (Maslow, 2013). This way, an individual will work tirelessly in order to achieve even higher needs. In the case of Forrest, his ability to run faster (when he was running away from bullies by crossing the field weirdly) encouraged the coach who took him and gave him a position as a football player. Forrest was motivated by the scholarship to the University and as such, he played for the team in a hardworking manner thereby making the team to emerge the winner in many matches. While in the army, his mental disorder made him to fight mercilessly until the president motivated him by honoring him with a medal (Groom 2012).
On his way to a trip, he saved Mao the Chairman from drowning without knowing that the latter was an enemy of America. The Chinese government not only acknowledged and crowned him for saving one of their own, but also restored the distorted relationship with America. The motivation variable helped Forrest to become a better person because without it, he could have been worse. For instance, he met Jenny and after relating with her for some time, Jenny who encouraged (motivates) him to run away from bullies to avoid being attacked. When he was running away from bullies, one day, he crossed a football field and a coach took him, trained him, and offered him a University scholarship because of his exemplary performance as a fast player. After graduating at the University, he joined the military where he was later honored by the president for doing a good job. As the film ends, he seemed to be responsible because he was seen seeing his son off to school when her mother died.
The death of his father and the low socio-economic status of his mother contributed towards his mental disorder because he was born a normal person. Forrest’s low IQ made him to be scorned and be rejected by the community around him. Bullies chased him frequently and many public schools rejected him because of his low IQ (Groom 1994). His low IQ made him to indulge in drug abuse thereby slowing down his level of functioning until Jenny noticed. The level of stress at school made him to run away in order to find a better place where he could have peace. After running way, he picked a plastic bag from nearby garbage and he wanted to cover himself because it was raining. Stressors in life affected his level of functioning to a point that worsened autistic condition he has.
Even though Forrest’s autistic condition affected him at the age of eight, I believe he will go on well with it despite a few stressors in life, which influence his level of functioning. At some point, he acted in an extraordinary way compared to normal people. For instance, his unique capabilities in football and ability to fight in Vietnam made him emerge a hero even though he has autism. I understand that his life is lucky though he has a mental disorder that can have ruined him. However, he surprised many when he became a hero in football and in the army. In the future, he will do marvelous activities or things because his past shows he can do better than what the normal people can.
Groom, W. (1994). Gumpisms: The wit and wisdom of Forrest Gump. New York: Pocket Books.
Groom, W. (2012). Forrest Gump a novel. New York: Vintage Books.
Groom, W. (2013). Forrest Gump. Garden City, N.Y.: Transworld.
Winston Groom: Forrest Gump [Motion picture]. (1994). Algoritam.
Maslow, A. (2013). A theory of human motivation. New York: Start Publishing LLC.
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