Forrest Gump Wiki
Advertisement

Run, Forrest! Run!"

–Jenny Curran

Jenny Gump (née Curran) (July 16th 1945 - March 22nd 1982) was the childhood friend and later wife of Forrest Gump, and the mother of Little Forrest. She appears as the deuteragonist of the Forrest Gump movie and novel. At multiple points in the story Jenny tells Forrest to run when there is danger

Birth and Education[]

Jenny was born on July 16th, 1945 (the day the first atomic weapon in history was detonated in Alamogordo, NM) in Taylor, Arkansas. Her mother died when she was 5 years old. She was raised by her father, a farmer, who physically and sexually abused Jenny and her sisters. Forrest naïvely believed that he was simply a loving father as he was always kissing and touching Jenny and her sisters.

Jenny and Forrest first meet on the bus to school when she invites him to sit with her, which Forrest gratefully accepts (as none of the other students would let him sit with them).

During their early years, Jenny acts as Forrest’s only friend and ally. The two often sit in a large oak tree after school. Jenny teaches Forrest to read, while he teaches her how to swing in the branches. When local bullies show up on bikes to tease and throw rocks at Forrest, Jenny urges him to run, screaming "Run, Forrest, run!" Her advice leads to Forrest’s leg braces breaking off and him running across town, literally kicking up dust as he passes. This is one of the many times that Jenny tells Forrest to run, which becomes a recurring theme in the story.

One day when Jenny isn't at school, Forrest goes to her farm house. Jenny's drunken father pursues Jenny and Forrest, but they hide in a cornfield, and he doesn't find them, presumably because he's too drunk to do so. A frightened Jenny instructs Forrest to kneel down and help her pray to God. She repeats, "Dear God, make me a bird, so that I can fly far, far, far away from here.”

Soon after, Jenny's father is presumably arrested, and she is sent to live with her grandmother in a trailer nearby Forrest’s Home. Occasionally she would sneak out in the middle of the night and stay with Forrest, hopping into bed with him, claiming she was scared but never revealed to Forrest what she was scared of. Forrest believed this was because of her grandma's mean dog, but the film implies that it was likely she was scared her father was either going to break out of jail or get released from jail and try to find her and abuse her some more. One plausible explanation is that it was at night that her father would inflict abuse upon her and her sisters. Due to this, she suffered from PTSD from years of abuse which worsened at night.

When Jenny and Forrest are in high school, Jenny encourages Forrest to use his running ability to escape from the bullies who chase him in a truck. Following high school, the two attend separate colleges - Jenny, an all girls college that Forrest often visits. One such visit results in him beating up her boyfriend, Billy, when Forrest misinterprets a playful make out session for Billy hurting Jenny. Billy leaves, upset, prompting the two to split. Jenny (though angry) forgives Forrest and invites him into her dorm room. Jenny brings Forrest to his first orgasm by showing him her bare breast. The two share a laugh and Jenny’s roommate listens. The two are once again separated as Forrest enters boot camp.

Forrest discovers while in boot camp that Jenny has posed for Playboy while wearing her college sweater, which leads to her being expelled. As a result of her photos however, she is hired to perform and sing in a strip club under the name Bobbie Dylan. While on leave, Forest comes to watch her sing. Forrest attempts to protect Jenny from men grabbing at her legs during her performance. Forrest beats up the men and tries to carry Jenny out the door to which she angrily breaks free and shoves her guitar at him — walking off stage nude and causing laughter in the crowd and Jenny gets fired.

Outside of the club, Jenny scolds Forrest for trying to protect her. Forrest admits (for the first time) that he loves her. Jenny rebukes his claim, as she doesn't believe Forrest knows what love is. She reflects on the day she and he prayed for God to turn her into a bird when they were kids, and briefly alludes to jumping off the bridge, but quickly changes the subject and hitches a ride from a stranger in a pickup truck.

Before leaving, Forrest tells Jenny he's going to Vietnam; concerned, Jenny advises Forrest that if he's ever scared in Vietnam to just run away. Forrest promises and Jenny leaves in the truck.

Hippie and Disco Jenny[]

While Forrest is in Vietnam, he writes letters to Jenny daily - none of which ever reach her because she moves out of her Grandmother's trailer and in with a group of hippie men who come to get her at her Grandmother's trailer. Jenny is singing on the street corner for spare change when invited by a stranger to go to San Francisco. She delves into the hippie lifestyle, participating in the anti-Vietnam war protests, and experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. While in Berkeley California she meets a guy named Wesley who is President of the Berkeley Chapter of S.D.S. and also despite him being a white guy is a member of the Black Panther Party since he hates the Vietnam War and Lyndon B. Johnson and the two date moving in together in Berkeley California.

In Washington DC during an anti-Vietnam protest,She and Forrest are reunited after several years apart because Wesley brought her there for one of his Black Panther Party meetings. Following Forrest’s speech, the two run to each other through the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on the National Mall, resulting in applause from the crowd. The two spend the day together and converge at the Black Panther safe house. While the Black Panthers are not happy with Forrest's presence, they leave him alone, paying more attention to one of their members speaking loudly. Forrest witnesses an argument between Wesley and Jenny in which Wesley slaps her, causing Forrest to retaliate and attack him. Wesley coldly regrets bringing Jenny to Washington and angrily walks away. Forrest and Jenny are forced to leave, and they spend the rest of the night together walking around Washington DC and reflecting on their individual journeys. The next morning, Jenny decides to leave for Berkeley with Wesley to which Wesley apologizes to Jenny for hitting her saying it's because of the Vietnam War and Lyndon B. Johnson. Before Jenny leaves, Forrest gives her his Congressional Medal of Honor, crediting her for his earning it and calling her his girl. She remarks, “I’ll always be your girl” before getting on the bus. Forrest and Jenny do not see each other for many years following the encounter in Washington D.C. After returning to Berkeley, Jenny broke up with Wesley and got another boyfriend who was a musician. She later reveals that this boyfriend slapped her at a New Years' Eve party in 1972. Unlike Wesley, Jenny leaves him after this incident,

In the late 70’s, Jenny has continued further into a life of drugs and instability. Battered and high, she comes closest to suicide by nearly leaping off the balcony of a hotel. After a slip, she decides differently and steps down from the ledge, visibly distraught.

Rebuilding Jenny[]

One day, Jenny arrives at Forrest's home unannounced and stays with him for a while. She sleeps excessively prompting Forrest to remark that it is as if she hasn’t slept in years. Forrest explains that every morning, they'd walk often and while he talked Jenny would listen.

One day, while on a walk, the pair happen to stumble upon Jenny’s abandoned childhood home. Jenny walks up and stops in front of the house. Jenny begins sobbing and throwing 8rocks and shoes at the house. While throwing objects, she says things like, “How could you do those things” and “How dare you” in the process.

One evening, Forrest proposes to Jenny. She declines saying, “You don’t want to marry me.” That night, Jenny climbs into bed with Forrest. She tells him that she does indeed love him and the two make love. The following morning, she leaves in a taxi, leaving behind Forrest’s Congressional Medal of Honor and prompting his 3-year run.

Marriage and Death[]

Working as a waitress, Jenny follows Forrest’s run and sends a letter prompting him to meet her in Savannah, Georgia when he finishes. Forrest does this and meets Jenny at her apartment. Jenny apologizes to Forrest for her behavior toward him due to her emotional trauma. At this point a woman comes to the door and drops off Jenny’s son. Jenny introduces the little boy, whom she has also named Forrest, to Forrest. Jenny reveals to Forrest that the boy is his son.

Jenny later reveals that she is ill and is suffering from an unknown virus with no cure; likely hinting towards an HIV infection. Forrest offers for Jenny and little Forrest to come and live with him. Jenny asks Forrest if he will marry her and he gladly agrees. The two marry soon after, in a ceremony at the house once owned by Forrest's mother.

Jenny dies on March 22nd, 1982 (which was on a Monday, but Forest mistakenly remembers it as a Saturday morning), the day that the space shuttle "Columbia" was launched.

Gallery[]

Advertisement