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Friday, June 29, 2007

"Run, Jen-ny"

We are all familiar with the phrase, "Run, Forrest! Run!!" Running is one of the primary motifs in the film. But one question that I've never quite been able to get straight about the movie, Forrest Gump, is why Jenny runs. Remember what triggers Forrest's famous coast-to-coast run? He needed time to think: "Mostly I thought about Jen-ny." Recall that Forrest asks Jenny to marry him saying that he would be a good husband. Jenny agrees, but hesitates. Forrest replies by saying, "I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is." Jenny shows up in Forrest's room later that night and the two sleep together (amongst other things). Jenny tells Forrest that she really does love him. But in the morning she is gone. Gone without a trace.

So, that's what triggers Forrest's run, but why did Jenny run??? She calls a cab in the early morning and the cabby asks her where she is running off to. Jenny replies, "I'm not running."


samlcarr said...

It's been a while since I saw the Gump but I think that Jenny may have felt intimidated by the totality and purity of the love being offered while she may also have felt that she did not deserve this.

Robin Marie said...

Well, think about what her family life was like. Her father was abusive and quite terrible to her, and so that's the only "love" she's known. She's afraid, so she runs. And maybe she runs from Forrest not only because of the purity of his love, as Samlcarr suggested, but also because she was afraid of not being able to offer him the same kind of love.

Dawn said...

Jenny runs when things get complicated. When things get normal. Remember she was always in the mix of things, but never for long. Forrest was offering her a normal life...so she ran.

Jonathan Erdman said...

But when Jenny gets into the taxi the guy says something like, "Where are you running off to, honey?" And she says, "I'm not running?"

But it sure seems like she's running.

And if Jenny felt threatened by the purity of love, then why did she sleep with Forrest???

I don't think Jenny ever really loved Forrest. She may have loved him as a friend, and she was very grateful that Forrest was so good to her and took care of her, but I don't think that she ever loved Forrest the same way that he loved her.

ktismatics said...

Marrying Forrest Gump would be like marrying the family dog.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Well, except Forrest doesn't slobber as much.

Jason Hesiak said...

Erdmanian - how would you know?