The subject of this article:

  • exists in the Forrest Gump novel canon (including Gump & Co.)
  • is not mentioned in the Forrest Gump film canon

An adult male orangutan. This image is not from any part of the Forrest Gump universe, but the male Sue may have had a similar appearance.

Sue refers to two orangutans associated with Forrest Gump's flight into space on the Multi-Orbital Pre-Planetary Sub-Gravitational Inter-Spheroid Spaceflight Training Mission.

Female Sue[edit | edit source]

Sue is the name of a female orangutan from "the jungles of Sumatra or someplace" who was planned to accompany Forrest Gump and Major Janet Fritch on a trip to space. It was to be the third time she has flown into space.

After the arrival of the second, male Sue, the first Sue is never referred to again.

Male Sue[edit | edit source]

After the flight is delayed for an hour, thought to be cancelled but then restarted, some confusion ends when Sue is found not to be present on the ship but in her place is a more violent male chimpanzee. A proper name for him is not given, however Houston Ground Control orders for the mishap to not be disclosed to the public lest "we will all be made laughing-stocks," continuing "As far as you or anybody else is concerned, that ape is Sue—no matter what it's got between its legs." From that point on, the male ape is referred to as "Sue", though the male pronoun "he" is preserved.

The male Sue causes havoc on the spaceship, eventually causing it to crash into New Guinea. Sue and Forrest befriend each other as they work farming cotton for a tribe of cannibals. When NASA finally rescues them, Major Fritch decides to run off into the jungle to be with her lover Grurck, and a tearful Sue, yearning for this more natural habitat, follows as well.

Forrest meets Sue once again while filming a remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Sue has been recaptured for use as a prop in Hollywood. Sue eventually goes to work at Forrest's shrimping business.

In Gump & Co.[edit | edit source]

In the sequel novel, Gump & Co., Sue has gone missing with the failure of Forrest's shrimping business.

Forrest re-encounters Sue during the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia alongside Lieutenant Dan. Sue has learned to dance while Dan plays music; the two make money as a street act. Sue accompanies Dan, Forrest, and Sergeant Kranz in a tank which ends up in Baghdad. They capture Saddamn Hussein, and return him to base; however they are told to return him to Baghdad as they hadn't been ordered to capture him. On the way back after dropping off Saddamn, an airplane destroys the tank, killing Sue and Lieutenant Dan.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Though the male Sue is initially shown to be violent, he exhibits surprisingly human tendencies and abilities: he pours a jar of liquid onto the unconscious Big Sam to wake him after he fainted, expresses sorrow upon being told he is to be eaten by the tribe (though he is not actually eaten), wears a straw hat and carries a gunny sack to plant cotton with Forrest and Major Fritch, and even communicates through making gestures and grunts, making faces and waving hands. Forrest is able to piece together Sue's life story.

Sue's life story[edit | edit source]

When Sue was young, his parents were captured and taken away. He lived with an aunt and uncle for some time, then went on his own. One day, he felt curious about what was outside the jungle, and ventured to a village near the edge of the jungle. While drinking from a river, an approaching canoeist hits him with an oar and he is captured and sold to be exhibited in Paris.

His companion in the exhibit was a female named Doris, with whom Sue fell in love. Doris and Sue were displayed across the world in the process of having sex, until a man in Japan purchased Doris and took her away. Sue becomes uncooperative and begins to misbehave and throw excrement, and, having lost his usefulness, is sold to NASA. Forrest sympathizes with Sue, partially because his love for Doris reminded him of Jenny Curran.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Groom, Winston. Forrest Gump. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1986. Page 131. Print.
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