Tragedies are unpredictable and inevitable, however the different perceptions towards a hardship can alter an individual’s path. Tragedies can twist the image of reality, but they can also be a source of guidance. The movie Forrest Gump directed by Robert Zemeckis and the poem “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road,” by Robert Frost showcase that overcoming obstacles can provide a sense of identity, and impact the potential outcome. First of all, a tragedy causes great suffering, destruction, and distress. In the movie, Forrest Gump, the protagonist Forrest faces many obstacles and hardships that symbolize the adversity of life.
Forrest unknowingly goes against the societal principles and ideals which lead to his alienation from society. His physical and mental disabilities further contribute to his isolated state of mind. The leg braces he was required to wear when he was younger represented his differences in a prominent manner. Forrest stuck out in his community, and many individuals noticed him with a derogatory perception. Similarly, Forrest was faced with the death of many loved ones. Death is always tragic, however the pain and suffrage that comes after the individual has passed away is indescribable.
Forrest Gump experienced the loss of a caring mother, a supportive wife, and an amusing best friend. Forrest’s life is filled with obstacles and adverse situations. Likewise, in the poem “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road,” the speaker must overcome an invisible barrier that represents his tragic situation. For example, the line “The tree the tempest with a crash of wood; Throws down in front of us is not bar,” the metaphorical barrier creates an adverse situation for the narrator. His reflective and optimistic tone contrasts with the challenge that is in his way.
The tone of the poem is ironic because the speaker is reflecting upon a challenge that he has faced in his life, but the positive tone clashes with the situation that the narrator present. For example, the line “She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,” shows that the tragic situation is still prominent and continues to act as barrier for the speaker. Frost uses personification to enhance the emotional atmosphere of the poem, and create vivid sense of imagery. The speaker’s situation makes him question himself, and the choices he has made. Tragedy can only be healed with power of a positive perception.
Moreover, tragic situations provide a sense of identity, and contribute to personal growth. For example, in Forrest Gump, Forrest’s experiences both positive and negative helped shape and mold his character. The death of Bubba in the Vietnam War triggered Forrest to start a shrimping business. This business allowed Forrest to take a risk, and learn from its impacts and consequences. Additionally, Jenny’s death gave Forrest a sense of purpose in life. He was compelled to raise and take care of his son. Parenthood contributed to another aspect of his changing identity. He was not only Forrest, but he was also ‘dad’ for his son.
Fatherhood was a significant aspect in the film showcasing relationships can lead to personal growth. Similarly, in the poem “On a Tree Fallen across the road,” the metaphorical barrier makes the speaker explore his sense identity. For example, the line “Our passage to our journey’s end for good; But just to ask us who we think we are,” depicts a reflective tone. The speaker’s reflection allows him to question himself, his choices, and decision in the past. The end of his journey provides him with a new sense of identity. Also, the hardships and challenges he experiences contribute to his individual growth.
Tragedy can alter an individual’s identity, while contributing to personal growth. Furthermore, obstacle impacts and influence the potential outcome. In Forrest Gump, Forrest’s life is filled with random tragedies that ultimately lead to his success. For example, he is born with a spine problem that forces him to wear leg braces. The constant teasing he endures along with Jenny’s advice to run leads to his astonishing abilities which gets him a spot on his college football team. Likewise, a tragic hurricane helps Forrest’s shrimping business become an industry overnight, while at the same time destroys everyone else’s boat in the area.
Tragedies are not always tragic because sometimes they can be used as a platform to learn about oneself. Additionally, “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road,” depicts that obstacles and challenges can be overcome with a sense of determination. For example, the line “We have it hidden us to attain,” portrays that individuals have the ability to overcome the barriers and tragedies they face. Also, the line “And, tired of aimless circling in one place, Steer straight off after something into space,” shows that hardships can lead to new paths and perceptions.
Challenges are inevitable and unpreventable, but tragedy is a choice. Ultimately, tragedies are like a non-terminating disease, however a positive perception can eradicate this proposed challenge. Some individuals succumb to the darkness of a tragedy, while others prevail with an optimistic perspective. In the movie Forrest Gump and the poem “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road,” the narrators overcome the challenges prominent in life. Tragedies are unpredictable and unstoppable, but they provide a sense of identity and impact the outcome of a situation.