There is no doubt form the start of the movie that Forrest loved Jenny from the beginning of their friendship. But it is Jenny who never gave a thought or had a feeling about Forrest's feelings. She always avoided him right from the start and considering girl's sixth sense is too strong, she most probably understood that Forrest started loving her. But watching the movie, somehow it was depicted that Jenny despite understanding everything (even Forrest expressed himself that he loved her) always tried to ignore him (rude to say but the reason being he was stupid and this is the truth) and chose an aimless yet apparently enjoyable life for her.

But in the end she returned to him conceiving how much life she had spoiled of herself. She was sure he would accept her in any condition, had a baby with him for her own interest (for natural reason) and married Forrest when she became sick. Needless to say Forrest had become too rich by then. Is the above theory not enough to prove that she married Forrest for her own interest?

5 Answers 5


Far from it.

Jenny was a seriously mixed-up, mentally unstable woman who did not know what she wanted to do with herself. The primary reason for her instability was the sexual abuse meted out to her as a child by her father. Such events scar people for life and Jenny was no different.

There is a particular scene early on in the film where Jenny and Forrest are hiding from her father in a corn field. She tells him that she wants to "fly away like a bird far from here". As soon as she got a chance, that is exactly what she did. She wanted to be a completely different person. But she got kicked out of college and fell in with hippies and extremists of the time and got sucked into a downward spiral.

She did love Forrest. She even said so before sleeping with him even though she turned down his proposal. Even though she ran away again, the birth of Forrest Jr. resulted in her becoming mature and responsible. She became a waitress in Savannah and appeared to be supporting her son and herself quite well. She only wrote to Forrest once she knew of her terminal illness. Their marriage gave both of them happiness and Forrest Jr. a father who would take care of him once Jenny died.

  • 8
    "She did love Forrest. She even said so before sleeping with him" - Yes, because someone saying they love you before they sleep with you is a cast iron guarantee that it is genuine! Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 15:49
  • I've had several women say they love me while really meaning, "I LOVE how you spend so much more on me than you do yourself." They sounded far more sincere than Jenny in the bedroom scene, too! Commented Aug 9, 2020 at 4:53

I think Jenny loved Forrest but it was a pure love, unlike what she thought she was worth. So she chose to remember Forrest as an unspoiled part of her past, and instead ran after a hedonistic life. When she did consummate her relationship with Forrest she left because she was afraid that she would taint him. Only when she was really sick and needed him to care for her son did she allow him into her life, knowing that her running days were over.

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    You read the book. :-) Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 2:30
  • @ChicotheFriendlyMonkey I didn't have to read the book to get that understanding.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 4:54

Everytime, I watch this movie I am struck by how Jenny is portrayed. She was a deeply wounded and flawed person, but I think she really loved Forrest. She was abused constantly by her father and the only time she felt happiness was when she was with him. Her past and the demons she carried followed her throughout the entire film. I think she didn't believe she was worthy of Forrest.

In the movie, she asks him why is he so good to her as if she can't understand how he could still love her. The love she felt for him was untainted and pure. Her past and choices she made with men, drugs, and life were because she felt worthless perhaps believing she deserves that life. When she slept with Forrest, I think she believed she was giving him something back a piece her that she could show him how she felt about him. When she was gone the next day, I think it was because she realized that she wasn't whole and could give him the life he wanted.

She over the years saw him living this life where he did these extraordinary things and she was not worthy of him. When she got sick I think she realized that her son deserved to know his father and he deserved a piece of her that was pure, the only good thing in her life that wasn't tarnished. She was finally at peace and maybe thought she finally deserved some happiness with him. Often times abuse is so debilitating that you can't come out from under it.

Leaving Forrest behind all the time was showing her love to him because he would've followed her anywhere and eventually brought him down too. She loved him in the most innocent way pure, untainted, and free of her abuse. That's all I got to say about that.

  • I like this answer the best. Jenny truly loved Forrest and saw him for who he was. Commented Apr 23 at 20:56

I think Jenny was mentality mix up in the head from her poor up brining not stable in her mind about love but she know abuse.Which leads to bad behavior and no mental stability in some areas of her lif


Selfish? I'm not sure about that, I kind of see it as cruel she says she loved him the night she slept with him but then the very next morning she runs away again if she truly did love him she would have stayed or even at the most came back after she found out she was pregnant. The poor man tried almost his whole life to be with her, protect her, and treat her good but she never gave him the chance. To me I see her doing what's right for her boy so that he was taken care of after she was gone but I can't believe she truly loved forest she told him she loved him but the very next morning she ran away again even if she came back after finding out she was pregnant then it would have shown she did care but she waited years until she found out she was dieing to contact him again and then marries him that to me says hey I'm dieing I need someone to take care of my son when I die so I guess that I can stomach being with this dude until I die which is very sad because forrest loved her so much it makes me cry every time watching the part at the end when he is at her grave talking to her and says how much he misses her, the poor man fought his whole life trying to be with her and in the end he gets to be with her for a year before she dies. So in conclusion I'm not sure I would call it selfish, I see it more as almost evil.

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