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Dignan
12-13-2000, 06:45 PM
When Jenny gets sick and eventually dies at the end, what did she have? I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it, I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years. Anyone, anyone?

Scylla
12-13-2000, 06:48 PM
Aids

caircair
12-13-2000, 06:48 PM
Actually, it IS possible that Forrest Jr. has it, but hasn't been diagnosed yet.

Meanwhile, Jenny could not have died of AIDS, exactly, since AIDS has never killed anyone. What is does is weaken the immune system until some other horrible disease can take over and kill you. Most people die either from pneumonia or a form of cancer, but AIDS is a major contributing factor.

As for the actual cause of Jenny's death, I don't think they ever came and and confirmed it was AIDS. We'll have to wait for the sequel.

stargazer
12-13-2000, 06:51 PM
yeah, it was implied that it was AIDS. She presumably got it after she had Forrest Jr., or it didn't develop into AIDS until after she had him, or something like that. And she got it, IIRC, before much was known about it (so there was little information that could have helped her), so it could easily have run its course in 4 years.

Derleth
12-13-2000, 06:55 PM
I always got the idea that it was AIDS. Why? Well, it was a slow-acting progressive chronic disease. That describes a range, from leukemia to brain cancer to all the other diseases people lose sleep over. But it was hinted that her lifestyle (being a slut in the 60s-70s) contributed to it, which narrows the range. Finally, it was diagnosed in the 80s-early 90s, when AIDS was the known 'big bad bug' going around. Not very convincing, I know, but you work with the information you're given.

Selmer
12-13-2000, 07:03 PM
Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie disease." It was very common in the 30s and 40s. One of the most famous cases of it was Greta Garbo's in "Camille." The disese caused the actress to get weaker and weaker and more and more beautiful the sicker she got. One sure way way to know if it's a case of old movie disease is the presence of swelling strings on the sountrack. Ali McGraw had a really bad case of it in "Love Story."

dougie_monty
12-13-2000, 07:06 PM
There are two other things to consider. One, Jenny was sexually abused by her own father--who may have been a really sick man in more ways than one. He could have had herpes or God knows what. Two, she took drugs in the 60s; she seems to have been a full-fleged hippie while Forrest was in Vietnam getting shot in his seater. It's possible that one, or the other, or both, of these factors could have made poor Jenny a pushover for diseases more fortunate people would be fully immune to. :(

lissener
12-13-2000, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Selmer
Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie disease." . . .
Close; it was a very common variant called Stuck-in-a-Sucky-Movie disease (Cinema horribilis), which unfortunately doesn't kill as many people as it should.

Dr. Lao
12-13-2000, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Dignan
I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it.Maternal to fetus trasmition rates for HIV are only about 25 to 30% for live births. There is good evidence, however, that mother to child transmition earily during pregnancy can induce miscarriges, so likely the figure is higher. Since Forrest Jr. is alive the figure of 25 to 30% still applies....I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years.We have no idea how long she had been infected. It was four years between diagnosis and death, but she may have been infected long before.

caircair-
Originally posted by caircair
Meanwhile, Jenny could not have died of AIDS, exactly, since AIDS has never killed anyone.This is not true. Cecil Adams on the subject:From Could AIDS be treated by putting the person in a "bubble" to prevent infection? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_372.html)
...AIDS is quite capable of killing you all by itself, without any help from opportunistic infections. It can directly infect the brain and the gut, producing such syndromes as HIV encephalopathy, also knowns as AIDS dementia (symptoms: loss of memory, alertness, balance, and vision; weakness) and HIV wasting syndrome, where you simply waste away. (Opportunistic infections may also contribute to this.)

Scylla
12-13-2000, 07:47 PM
Didn't Yul Brynner(sp?) die of Old Movie Disease both on and offscreen?

Wendell Wagner
12-14-2000, 08:27 AM
There's a Significant Moment in the film when you see Jenny inject herself with heroin (or some needle drug) after someone else has used the same needle. It's made clear that that's the moment when she's infected with the HIV virus, although no one says that. In the same way, it's made clear that she dies of AIDS, even though the name of the disease is never used.

Selmer writes:

> Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie
> disease." It was very common in the 30s and 40s. One of
> the most famous cases of it was Greta Garbo's
> in "Camille." The disese caused the actress to get weaker
> and weaker and more and more beautiful the sicker she
> got. One sure way way to know if it's a case of old movie
> disease is the presence of swelling strings on the
> sountrack. Ali McGraw had a really bad case of it
> in "Love Story."

Yeah, Selmer, I remember reading the Mad parody of _Love Story_ too. That is where your taking this idea of "old movie disease" from, right?

Wendell Wagner
12-14-2000, 08:34 AM
I wrote:

> That is where your taking this idea of "old movie
> disease" from, right?

Before someone else gets the chance to make fun of me, I will make fun of myself for using "your" instead of "you're."

Tansu
12-14-2000, 08:36 AM
Is "Old movie disease" a variant of Opera TB?

missbunny
12-14-2000, 09:45 AM
I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed. Or maybe it was just that for a woman (even a needle-using one) to have the disease would have been so incredibly unusual during the very early AIDS outbreak that it was kind of far-fetched for the movie to imply it.

I am just going by memory - haven't checked IMDB or anything - so I might be wrong.

John Corrado
12-14-2000, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by missbunny
I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed.

Which- I think- was part of the point; the way the movie is set up, Gump is supposed to be marginally involved in some of the most amazing and defining events of the 60's-80's (met JFK, Nixon, made the call that started Watergate, went to China on the ping-pong team, showed LBJ his butt, started the national jogging craze, etc.), so having his "girlfriend" be one of the first to die of AIDS seems appropriate given the movie's theme.

Wendell Wagner
12-14-2000, 10:16 AM
You're right that it's very unlikely that a person could have contracted the HIV virus at the time the film suggests that Jenny did. It's clear though that the film is saying that Jenny did die of AIDS, so one of the ways that the film is anachronistic is by having Jenny get the HIV virus too early.

missbunny
12-14-2000, 10:33 AM
Good point, John - I hadn't thought about it that way. I suppose the filmmakers (hey, does she die in the book too?) could have made it AIDS in keeping with all the other "firsts," even if it likely wouldn't have happened that way in real life.

Phobos
12-14-2000, 10:49 AM
I think the movie implied that it was AIDS. Examples...(1) she had lots of sex partners, (2) she shared needles (remember that one scene), (3) she was deteriorating overall from an unknown disease (and AIDS was not really known back then), (4) it's the most obvious thing for the audience to guess, and (5) it fits the overall theme of big things happening to ordinary people.

AWB
12-14-2000, 11:01 AM
IIRC, gays in the late 70's recognized the symptoms of AIDS (wasting, Karposi's (sp?) Sarcoma, etc. But they just attributed it to associated things: IV drug use, STDs, poor nutrition.

AIDS has probably been around for a long time. It was just its introduction into a couple of fluid-sharing groups (IV drug users, male homosexuals) that caused the epidemic

Montfort
12-14-2000, 11:05 AM
My very-pointed-and-jaded summary of Forrest Gump, a film that I hated:

"If you're a moron and do what your mother tells you to do, you'll end up fine, but if you live your life the way you want to, you'll die of AIDS."

Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.

Dignan
12-14-2000, 11:12 AM
Really, I didn't think Jenny lived her life the way she wanted to at all (ex. the near suicide attempt).

Dolores Reborn
12-14-2000, 11:20 AM
Am I the only one who vaguely remembers Jenny telling Forrest that she had a "virus"? Or maybe she just said she was sick...

Uniball
12-14-2000, 11:44 AM
Ask the dust.

http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/Reinfilmindex_2/forrestgump.html

Jeep's Phoenix
12-14-2000, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by Dolores Claiborne
Am I the only one who vaguely remembers Jenny telling Forrest that she had a "virus"? Or maybe she just said she was sick...

I remember her telling Forrest that she was very sick with some disease, and that the doctors didn't know what it was.

Chronos
12-14-2000, 03:48 PM
I, too, remember her specifically saying it was a virus, and I saw it a good while after it came out after people had been talking about it, so I was specifically looking for an indication that it was or was not AIDS.

Chronic, deadly virus, in the early 80s, in a promiscuous drug user... I think that AIDS is probably a safe bet.

SuaSponte
12-14-2000, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Chronos
I, too, remember her specifically saying it was a virus, and I saw it a good while after it came out after people had been talking about it, so I was specifically looking for an indication that it was or was not AIDS.

Chronic, deadly virus, in the early 80s, in a promiscuous drug user... I think that AIDS is probably a safe bet.
Yeah, she did say "virus", and this was the real anachronism of the movie. At the time she told Forrest, AIDS was around, but the vector hadn't been identified yet. So her doctors wouldn't have been able to tell her it was a virus. I believe they tossed in the "virus" line to specifically identify the disease as AIDS.

Sua

popokis5
12-14-2000, 07:11 PM
Along these lines, I always wondered what Tiny Tim from "A Chrismas Carol" et al. had. What would have been wrong with his leg, that he was going to die from by (presumably) next Christmas, that a good diet and improved conditions would improve? That really drives me crazy. Also, do you think that the boys who play him get beat up at school?

labdude
12-14-2000, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by Dignan
I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it, I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years. Anyone, anyone?

Of course, it is possible to have unsafe sex with an HIV positive person and not develop HIV yourself. I'm sure there are some stastics somewhere, but I'm to busy to go look for them.

Movielover85
07-04-2013, 01:15 PM
I think it's highly likely that she died of AIDS related complications (pneumonia or some other opportunistic infection) since this is the early 80s before they even had a name for the virus let alone a treatment. Many people are saying she couldn't have gotten the virus and died from it in only 4 years. Yes she could have if her immune system was weak enough. Some are even saying that she couldn't have gotten HIV since it didn't exist at that time. The first confirmed AIDS death us in fact a boy from 1969. So in fact she could easily have had the virus long before she had sex with Forrest.

hajario
07-04-2013, 01:31 PM
I think it's highly likely that she died of AIDS related complications (pneumonia or some other opportunistic infection) since this is the early 80s before they even had a name for the virus let alone a treatment. Many people are saying she couldn't have gotten the virus and died from it in only 4 years. Yes she could have if her immune system was weak enough. Some are even saying that she couldn't have gotten HIV since it didn't exist at that time. The first confirmed AIDS death us in fact a boy from 1969. So in fact she could easily have had the virus long before she had sex with Forrest.

Thanks and welcome to the boards but the post previous to yours was made thirteen years ago.

Colophon
07-04-2013, 01:39 PM
Scarily, if you go back in time from the OP by the same length of time as has elapsed since it was posted, you end up in... 1988 :eek:

beowulff
07-04-2013, 01:48 PM
Wow.
This must be some kind of record.
A thirteen year old thread, and no banned posters!

cochrane
07-04-2013, 01:49 PM
She died from a rare brain-eating disease.

Lasciel
07-04-2013, 04:41 PM
Along these lines, I always wondered what Tiny Tim from "A Chrismas Carol" et al. had. What would have been wrong with his leg, that he was going to die from by (presumably) next Christmas, that a good diet and improved conditions would improve? That really drives me crazy. Also, do you think that the boys who play him get beat up at school?

I KNOW this is a zombie, but I've heard several good arguments for him having rickets and TB (http://www.livescience.com/18802-dickens-tiny-tim-diagnosis.html).

Neither are pleasant, and both could be mostly remedied by throwing lots of money at them for the "cures" of the time: good food, rest, and lots of fresh air and sunlight.

Rickets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets)is really severe vitamin D deficiency, and TB is .. well, TB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis).

What's really funny is that with the rise of helicopter parenting, all-indoor activities, the focus on skin-cancer, and spf everything, rich kids are starting to get it again in record numbers. Supplements usually fix that easily.

What's less funny is that TB is starting to be a killer plague again, because so many strains are drug resistant now. So Tim might start being a bit more timely than he knows.

md2000
07-04-2013, 04:43 PM
IIRC wasn't AIDS brught to the public attention about the early 80's? According to Wiki it was first mentioned in 1981 and the term was in use by 1982. Of course, this was due to an unusual number of young gay men getting sick and dying (Frisco and NYC?). Presumably, the epidemic had been building and spreading for years before that; it was the distinctive means of transmission that made it epidemic and obvious in the gay community. IV drug users sickening and dying probably would not have been as noticeable.

I agree, the whole premise of the movie was that everything historic and notable of the era involved Forrest - so Jenny dying of AIDS would be an obvious piece of the story.

Also, IIRC, the disease was more rampant and destructive than today, and there were no treatments. So it was not unusual for people to kick off a year or two later, if I recall from stories of the time. It was not expected that people who tested positive would survive for decades (It's Magic?).

running coach
07-04-2013, 05:17 PM
I KNOW this is a zombie, but I've heard several good arguments for him having rickets and TB (http://www.livescience.com/18802-dickens-tiny-tim-diagnosis.html).

Neither are pleasant, and both could be mostly remedied by throwing lots of money at them for the "cures" of the time: good food, rest, and lots of fresh air and sunlight.

Rickets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets)is really severe vitamin D deficiency, and TB is .. well, TB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis).

What's really funny is that with the rise of helicopter parenting, all-indoor activities, the focus on skin-cancer, and spf everything, rich kids are starting to get it again in record numbers. Supplements usually fix that easily.

What's less funny is that TB is starting to be a killer plague again, because so many strains are drug resistant now. So Tim might start being a bit more timely than he knows.
Maybe renal tubular acidosis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1340779)
Such treatments with vitamin D and alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate suggest the plausible speculation that Tiny Tim had renal tubular acidosis (type I), a disorder that is characterized by growth failure and, if left untreated, complicated by osteomalacia with pathologic fractures, hypokalemic muscle weakness and periodic paralysis, nephrocalcinosis leading to renal failure, and death. I propose that Tiny Tim had distal renal tubular acidosis (type I).

msmith537
07-04-2013, 08:13 PM
Wow.
This must be some kind of record.
A thirteen year old thread, and no banned posters!

I believe all they all died from AIDS.

RickJay
07-04-2013, 09:41 PM
I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed. Or maybe it was just that for a woman (even a needle-using one) to have the disease would have been so incredibly unusual during the very early AIDS outbreak that it was kind of far-fetched for the movie to imply it.

I am just going by memory - haven't checked IMDB or anything - so I might be wrong.
Jenny dies in the 1980s, so it is quite certainly the case that AIDS was a going concern at some point before she dies. It wasn't well understood - as in fact she says in the movie.

Jenny pretty much HAS to be dying of AIDS; it is the only thematically consistent possibility. The entire point of the movie is to tell the story of post-war America with the characters representing the personifications of parts of America's character.

Leo Bloom
07-04-2013, 09:47 PM
Everybody has AIDS. (http://youtu.be/k_CHMx9UWTI)

ETA: to msmith537.

Mr. Slant
07-04-2013, 11:19 PM
She died from a rare brain-eating disease.

What's funny is that nowadays, you can live for decades with it...

Chronos
07-05-2013, 10:11 AM
Oh, and to a long-ago comment:

Quoth dougie_montie:

There are two other things to consider. One, Jenny was sexually abused by her own father--who may have been a really sick man in more ways than one. He could have had herpes or God knows what.
Jenny almost certainly had herpes, though that wouldn't have been what killed her. It's a lot more common than most people realize. Something like a quarter of the sexually-active population has it, and the figure would be much higher for someone as sexually active as she was depicted.

Also, since this thread was last active, we've gotten a new forum for discussion of the arts, Cafe Society. I'll let the mods know so they can move it.

Ludovic
07-05-2013, 10:18 AM
Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.A truly prescient remark.

Cowboy8467
07-05-2013, 11:53 AM
A truly prescient remark.

Nah, The Sixth Sense came out in 1999 and he made his comment in 2000.

EdwardLost
07-05-2013, 01:06 PM
chick cancer

Gary Robson
07-05-2013, 01:49 PM
Twelve years ago when this thread started, we didn't have a Cafe Society forum, so it was fine in General Questions. Now that it's been resurrected, I moved it to its appropriate (current) home.

teela brown
07-05-2013, 02:09 PM
Didn't Yul Brynner(sp?) die of Old Movie Disease both on and offscreen?

Here's the man himself, telling you from the grave what killed him:

Yul Brynner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNjunlWUJJI)

Zsofia
07-08-2013, 02:20 PM
I just happen to be reading And the Band Played On and although this is a zombie thread I thought it would be worthwhile to cite it (and this is an 80's book so there are surely more known cases now) that by April of 1982 AIDS was known to have struck 300 Americans and killed 119, 10 of them heterosexual women.

Sampiro
07-08-2013, 02:24 PM
I believe all they all died from AIDS.

Some are still around but can't get to the computer anymore due to rickets.

Bryan Ekers
07-08-2013, 02:36 PM
Rickets... that's what I hear when I tell jokes.





I'm hearing it now.

sarabeth162
08-04-2013, 12:01 AM
So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.

gigi
08-04-2013, 12:20 AM
I believe all they all died from AIDS.
Huh. I heard AIDS never killed anyone.

running coach
08-04-2013, 12:26 AM
So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.
Remember, she said the doctors didn't know what she had. Hep C is pretty well known.
From Wiki. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS#History)
The earliest well documented case of HIV in a human dates back to 1959 in the Congo. The virus may have been present in the United States as early as 1966.

Skywatcher
08-04-2013, 12:42 AM
I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV.It had yet to be identified at the time but a teen who died in St. Louis in '69 was found to have HIV when his preserved blood & tissues were tested in '87.

Bob Blaylock
08-04-2013, 04:49 AM
Is "Old movie disease" a variant of Opera TB?

Yes, I remember my father calling this disease to my attention. Seen mostly in classic Italian operas, it is a form of tuberculosis which causes the patient to sing loudly and clearly even though her lungs are failing to the degree that they could not possibly move enough air to support that level of vocalization.

FriarTed
08-04-2013, 09:11 AM
... by April of 1982 AIDS was known to have struck 300 Americans and killed 119, 10 of them heterosexual women.

One of which was Jen-nay.

kaylasdad99
08-04-2013, 10:43 AM
Google is silent on the question of whether Winston Groom had a specific disease in mind for Jenny's fatal illness.

Labdriver101
08-04-2013, 11:55 AM
Which- I think- was part of the point; the way the movie is set up, Gump is supposed to be marginally involved in some of the most amazing and defining events of the 60's-80's (met JFK, Nixon, made the call that started Watergate, went to China on the ping-pong team, showed LBJ his butt, started the national jogging craze, etc.), so having his "girlfriend" be one of the first to die of AIDS seems appropriate given the movie's theme.

Or maybe she had Pancreatic Cancer, or any one of a host of different real world diseases which stay dormant until such a time and then spread rapidly. Come on people, go figure.

Mr. Slant
08-04-2013, 04:28 PM
So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.

Read Zsofia's post above.

bienville
08-04-2013, 04:56 PM
"If you're a moron and do what your mother tells you to do, you'll end up fine, but if you live your life the way you want to, you'll die of AIDS."

Really, I didn't think Jenny lived her life the way she wanted to at all (ex. the near suicide attempt).

I don't know if either of these posters are still around, but I feel compelled to say, Dignan, that Montfort is right. Maybe Jenny didn't exactly live the life she wanted to, but she lived a life disobeying "the rules" while Forrest lived a life obeying "the rules".

Jenny died because she deserved to. She was a slut who didn't mind her place, and this is what happens to wicked little sluts who don't mind their place! They die. Horribly. Because they deserve to.

Forrest gets to live and raise his son because he was a good boy who followed the rules.
This movie is not even remotely subtle.

CrazyCatLady
08-04-2013, 10:33 PM
So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.

Why would it have been too early for her to have AIDS? She didn't die until sometime in the 80's, near as I can figure. (She nearly went off the roof during the Age of Disco, and IIRC that was before she got pregnant with the kid who was school-age when Forrest came to get them.) I'm a bicentennial baby, and I clearly remember my fourth grade teacher making a big deal of talking to us about how you couldn't get AIDS from hugging or kissing or dirty toilet seats or any of the other stuff people were freaking out about. That would have been in '85 or '86, after Ryan White was already a big deal.

Nzinga, Seated
08-04-2013, 10:55 PM
Obviously AIDS.

Hermione
08-04-2013, 11:54 PM
I don't know if either of these posters are still around, but I feel compelled to say, Dignan, that Montfort is right. Maybe Jenny didn't exactly live the life she wanted to, but she lived a life disobeying "the rules" while Forrest lived a life obeying "the rules".

Jenny died because she deserved to. She was a slut who didn't mind her place, and this is what happens to wicked little sluts who don't mind their place! They die. Horribly. Because they deserve to.

Forrest gets to live and raise his son because he was a good boy who followed the rules.
This movie is not even remotely subtle.

My two cents...

I honestly don't believe that Jenny's death was any kind of political statement. I think the main point behind Jenny's character was what can happen if you spend your life running away from problems instead of facing up to them.

When Jenny's a kid, one of her first bits of advice to Forrest is "just run away" (from the bullies). She repeats it when she's older and Forrest is about to leave for Vietnam: "If you get into trouble, just run away."

That's her philosophy of life in a nutshell. Her actions during most of her life (especially her drug use) can be seen as ways of "running away." She doesn't seem to be in the hippie movement because of any philosophical convictions...she just heads off to San Francisco on a whim. Granted, she is at the political protest in D.C., but there isn't much indication that she has all that much of a political conviction--she seems to be there mainly because her boyfriend (who slaps her around) is also there.

Only...her running doesn't seem to give her any peace. When we glimpse her, she's only ending up with abusive boyfriends, and is later seen attempting suicide.

When she takes off after having slept with Forrest, the cab driver asks her where she's running to, and she answers, "I'm not." It's not true...instead of trying to come to terms with her mistakes and build a life with Forrest, she runs off, convincing herself it's what's best for Forrest.

Forrest himself tries running away...literally. But after a couple years of doing so, he realizes that it's not the answer, and goes back to his life.

Eventually, Jenny comes to realize the same, and is able to build a life (however short) with the only person who's ever loved her unconditionally. But how much trouble could have been avoided if she'd tried to deal with her problems instead of running away from them?

Anyway, that's just my opinion, and YMMV, of course, but that's what I took away from it.

Lamia
08-05-2013, 08:49 AM
Google is silent on the question of whether Winston Groom had a specific disease in mind for Jenny's fatal illness.To the best of my recollection, in the novel Jenny doesn't have a fatal illness. Her character in the book, and much of the plot of the book, is quite different from the movie.

jenrom
11-23-2013, 07:59 AM
Ok, so maybe they were trying to make us believe that she died of AIDS but she didn't.
Has anyone read the book? I'm not eager to do it but it came out on 1986.
I'll just follow the hepatitis theory unless someone can prove it wrong xD

Evin
11-23-2013, 11:32 AM
Jenny shared her birthday, July 16, 1945 (see tombstone) with Trinity, which used an implosion-design plutonium device, presumably exposing her and all others in the film to low grade radiation, also presumably inducing the loss of innocence that we see throughout the film. Any exposure to ionizing radiation, even at doses too low to produce any symptoms of radiation sickness, can induce cancer due to cellular and genetic damage. Survivors of acute radiation syndrome face an increased risk developing various forms of cancer later in life. The bomb was the cancer.

Subterraneanus
11-23-2013, 11:33 AM
Stuckinastupidmovieitis

The Other Waldo Pepper
11-23-2013, 11:56 AM
she lived a life disobeying "the rules" while Forrest lived a life obeying "the rules".

Jenny died because she deserved to. She was a slut who didn't mind her place, and this is what happens to wicked little sluts who don't mind their place! They die. Horribly. Because they deserve to.

Forrest gets to live and raise his son because he was a good boy who followed the rules.
This movie is not even remotely subtle.

Bubba was AFAICT a good boy who followed the rules and died faster than Jen-nay.

Marlonius
11-23-2013, 12:00 PM
I always took it to be AIDS too.

The other diseases mentioned here were easily identifiable at the time.

The earliest mention of AIDS I can recall was circa 1984, when there was a segment on the news in which they were speculating that it was a mutation of the Feline Distemper virus. That ought to put into perspective what a mystery it was and how desperate we were, as a society, to figure it out.

I was only 11 at the time, so you can imagine it was a growing concern in adult circles for several years before it came to my attention.

I well remember as well in 1985 when Rock Hudson revealed that he was gay and had AIDS. I still remember the day he died, October 2, 1985. At the time, AIDS was a death sentence, and it remained a death sentence until well into the 90s.

It was a very scary era.

With respect to Forrest Gump, I think it MUST be AIDS, dramatically speaking. Jenny represents the loss of innocence through the years - the dark side and negative consequences of being a feather on the breeze of life and history. Both she and Forrest live their lives that way, going where life takes them without much planning or resistance. Forrest has only good results, and she has only bad.

The sexual revolution occurred in the span of the movie, and the good times were over when AIDS came around, and sex could kill you.

Within the narrative of the film, the timing of when she contracted AIDS is a little vague. If we to are assume she is clean and sober and at peace at last when she visits Forrest and the conceive Forrest Junior, then she must've already had the virus by then.

TruCelt
11-23-2013, 12:59 PM
nm, I just realized how old this is.

bienville
11-23-2013, 05:58 PM
Bubba was AFAICT a good boy who followed the rules and died faster than Jen-nay.

That's because he was black, which is even worse than being a slut.

Wendell Wagner
11-23-2013, 10:01 PM
I don't think it's as easy to characterize the people in the movie as you think. Gump is mentally retarded and wore a leg brace as a child. His mother was abandoned by his husband and was willing to seduce the principal of the school to make sure that Gump got to attend regular school. His one true love was sexually abused as a child and later was a promiscuous hippie who was beaten by her boyfriend. One person he admires is black (and after his death Gump makes his family rich) and the other is handicapped because he lost both legs in the war. And these are the heroes and heroines of the story. Politically the movie may be inept and naïve, but it was trying to show that these groups had admirable people in them.

Robot Arm
11-23-2013, 10:17 PM
I don't think it's as easy to characterize the people in the movie as you think. Gump is mentally retarded and wore a leg brace as a child. His mother was abandoned by his husband and was willing to seduce the principal of the school to make sure that Gump got to attend regular school. His one true love was sexually abused as a child and later was a promiscuous hippie who was beaten by her boyfriend. One person he admires is black (and after his death Gump makes his family rich) and the other is handicapped because he lost both legs in the war. And these are the heroes and heroines of the story. Politically the movie may be inept and naïve, but it was trying to show that these groups had admirable people in them.I've always thought that the movie was tragic in more ways than that. Gump gets to experience some truly extraordinary events during his lifetime, but in a sense they are wasted on someone who can't appreciate them.

TBG
11-24-2013, 06:26 PM
Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.

Walker (Texas Ranger) did later tell the boy he had AIDS.

cite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdsTUcuD7YA

the_diego
11-25-2013, 01:12 AM
Pneumonia, due to her choice of clothes while performing on stage.

Accidental Martyr
11-25-2013, 05:00 AM
To the best of my recollection, in the novel Jenny doesn't have a fatal illness. Her character in the book, and much of the plot of the book, is quite different from the movie.

From thatwasnotinthebook.com
Forrest has sex with Jenny on several different occasions and never impregnates her, although she does end up pregnant with her husband's child, who gets sent off to Forrest as a teenager when both she and her husband mysteriously die (at the start of the second book).

Shark
11-25-2013, 08:35 AM
It was probably Lupus, its always Lupus.

NVME702-redux
11-25-2013, 11:29 AM
If it was AIDS, remember she could have also gotten it from a blood transfusion after Jr. was born.

spoo
08-29-2014, 11:02 PM
It was mentioned somewhere by the producers(?) that it was Hep C which was unknown in the early 80's. Yes it could have been HIV but that would be extremely unlikely at that time.

user_hostile
08-30-2014, 01:58 AM
Naw, it wasn't Hep C that killed Jen-nay, it was Hep Hop.

Tread
08-30-2014, 09:12 AM
. Yes it could have been HIV but that would be extremely unlikely at that time.

As was EVERYTHING that happened to Forrest.


I graduated high school in 1981. And there were plenty of AIDS jokes going around school. So it was well known by the first part of 1980.

Maserschmidt
08-30-2014, 09:46 AM
As was EVERYTHING that happened to Forrest.


I graduated high school in 1981. And there were plenty of AIDS jokes going around school. So it was well known by the first part of 1980.

No. In the summer of '81 the CDC itself hadn't even publicly identified AIDS yet.

http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline/

Tread
08-30-2014, 02:05 PM
No. In the summer of '81 the CDC itself hadn't even publicly identified AIDS yet.

http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline/

Wow... and I clearly remember the jokes going around the school... how to keep from getting AIDS...what do you call a F## on skates.... etc.

Must be false memories.

I sit corrected.

C. Montgomery Burns
08-31-2014, 08:50 AM
I always thought it was obviously AIDS, and that they specifically showed her with that guy who was shooting up to show how she got it, although this was probably the subtlest thing in the movie. She either got it from sharing needles with him, or by sleeping with him- who got AIDS from sharing needles. Her conversation with Forrest takes place in the early 80s, which falls in line with "I have a virus, the doctors don't know what it is". AIDS was still a mystery, and was originally thought to only affect gay men. Which Jenny obviously was not. The thought it might be AIDS probably wouldn't have been strongly considered yet.

susan
08-31-2014, 02:25 PM
HBV was identified and being warned against prior to HIV. It's also a blood-borne pathogen. In addition, though AIDS wasn't generally publicly identified as a thing until 1981, it was known in the gay community earlier than that that something bad was happening.

Rodgers01
08-31-2014, 02:51 PM
Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.

WOW. I either never knew or had completely forgotten that Haley Joel Osment was in this movie.

Tangent
08-31-2014, 03:40 PM
It was probably Lupus, its always Lupus.

It's never Lupus.

Arkcon
09-01-2014, 04:24 PM
I always assumed Jenny had AIDS. It brackets the movie appropriately. Forrest had polio, a virus spread, incurable, possible lethal disease that made young Forrest a social pariah. Jenny acquired HIV, and passed to her son, who is now starting his first day of school, with a viral disease, incurable, and likely facing social ostracism for it. The film ends like it began.

I used to hate part of this message -- Jenny's wild lifestyle exposes her to AIDS, Forrest seems immune, basically by being a nice guy. However, differences in transmission rates for women to men notwithstanding, there's no reason Forrest can't be HIV positive, and may eventually die of AIDS. Why not, his story's done.

Also, Forrest doesn't have an IQ of 75. He may be a little slow, but coddled by his mother, shyness and his need for braces made him look worse to the administrator. Or he simply was a victim of flawed testing.

That was, as much as can be said definitely, the point of the movie. That's from the film's trailers -- the world is different seen through Forrest's eyes. Although I'm sure there are a variety of subtle meanings in the film, the whole point was to show how with encouragement, Forrest could excel.

Meh. I really enjoyed the movie back in the day, the camera tricks to put Forrest in historical situations was very entertaining. We didn't have South Park and Family Guy to do that on a daily basis. The only thing we had was The Critic.

Johnny L.A.
10-01-2017, 12:46 PM
So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.

It was mentioned somewhere by the producers(?) that it was Hep C which was unknown in the early 80's. Yes it could have been HIV but that would be extremely unlikely at that time.

Bumping this thread because I saw an 'article' today. I won't link to it because it's click-bait (I jumped the page number to minimise clicking), but this is what it says on page 20:
Forrest’s beloved Jenny passes away in the film from an unknown virus, there are many people who believe that she died from AIDS, but in the sequel to the novel, titled Gump & Co, readers find out that she actually died of Hepatitis C.

So Hepatitis C it is.

Shagnasty
10-01-2017, 12:56 PM
Bumping this thread because I saw an 'article' today. I won't link to it because it's click-bait (I jumped the page number to minimise clicking), but this is what it says on page 20:


So Hepatitis C it is.

The original book has Forrest hanging out with an ape and going into space as well. It is appalling bad and almost unreadable. I am still amazed that anyone was able to translate it into an Academy Award winning film (despite many opinions, I am still a huge fan of the movie and still think it is a brilliant touchstone).

What I am saying is that the book(s) and the movie aren't that closely related. I have read the books and seen the movie dozens of times. At least in the movie, she died of AIDS complications. That is made abundantly clear without being blatantly stated. It really doesn't matter what the book says because the screenwriters completely rewrote the entire story to be a montage of late 20th century history as seen through a retards eyes.

Shalmanese
10-01-2017, 02:41 PM
a montage of late 20th century history as seen through a retards eyes.

It's no more ok to say the r-word than it is to say oriental. Even if it's medically accurate, there's a dozen better ways of describing his condition than using such a charged word.

msmith537
10-01-2017, 10:15 PM
It's no more ok to say the r-word than it is to say oriental. Even if it's medically accurate, there's a dozen better ways of describing his condition than using such a charged word.

So what do I call all these rugs then? Sorry...carpets?

Isamu
10-01-2017, 11:21 PM
Regrump Americans.

Just Asking Questions
10-02-2017, 09:21 AM
Coming in late, but I can't believe anyone thinks it was anything other than AIDS. It fits the narrative, and if the timing is off, well, Forrest didn't invent the smiley face or "Have A Nice Day", either but no one complains about that.

And, as much as I like the film, I fear that deep down, the filmmaker's true point is that "it is better to be a stupid homebody than a free thinking free spirit." Ignorance is bliss, be God-fearing and don't think for yourself, and everything will be just fine. In other words, the perfect film for trump's America.

Push You Down
10-02-2017, 12:38 PM
....But Gump isn't a homebody. He goes out into the world and has adventures and effects the world even if he doesn't know it.

running coach
10-02-2017, 12:43 PM
Coming in late, but I can't believe anyone thinks it was anything other than AIDS. It fits the narrative, and if the timing is off, well, Forrest didn't invent the smiley face or "Have A Nice Day", either but no one complains about that.

And, as much as I like the film, I fear that deep down, the filmmaker's true point is that "it is better to be a stupid homebody than a free thinking free spirit." Ignorance is bliss, be God-fearing and don't think for yourself, and everything will be just fine. In other words, the perfect film for trump's America.

From here. (https://www.healthline.com/health/hiv-aids/history)
Today HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), is one of the largest epidemics in the world. HIV is the same virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Researchers found the earliest case of HIV in a blood sample of a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s said that the virus spread from chimpanzees to humans sometime before 1931, most likely during “bush meat trading.” While hunting chimpanzees, hunters would come in contact with animal blood.

Before the 1980s, researchers estimate that about 100,000 to 300,000 people were infected with HIV. The earliest case was confirmed in 1968, in Robert Rayford, a 16-year-old teenager, who never left the Midwest or received a blood transfusion. This suggests that HIV and AIDS may have been present in the United States before 1966.

But before AIDS was identified, the disease appeared as other immunodeficiency conditions like Pneumocystic carinii pneumonia (PCP) and Kaposi sarcoma (KS). A year after scientists identified AIDS they discovered the cause: HIV.

Shagnasty
10-02-2017, 12:49 PM
It's no more ok to say the r-word than it is to say oriental. Even if it's medically accurate, there's a dozen better ways of describing his condition than using such a charged word.

I apologize if I offended Forrest. The fact still remains that Forrest and Bubba were retards, Jenny was a whore and Lieutenant Dan is an asshole. That doesn't mean that they are bad people. You sometimes just have to work with what you are given kind of like a box of chocolates. To be fair, I don't think anyone ever used the term "retard" in the movie. They used the more PC term, "local idiot".

TruCelt
10-02-2017, 02:52 PM
So what do I call all these rugs then? Sorry...carpets?

As I understand it, *things* are Oriental,*people* are Asian. I've never seen an explanation as to why, but it's one of those things I just accept out of respect.

Lemur866
10-02-2017, 03:28 PM
I apologize if I offended Forrest. The fact still remains that Forrest and Bubba were retards, Jenny was a whore and Lieutenant Dan is an asshole. That doesn't mean that they are bad people. You sometimes just have to work with what you are given kind of like a box of chocolates. To be fair, I don't think anyone ever used the term "retard" in the movie. They used the more PC term, "local idiot".

"Being an idiot is no box of chocolates."

Shalmanese
10-02-2017, 04:09 PM
I apologize if I offended Forrest.

Maybe also consider apologizing to people who suffer from that condition or those who have people in their lives who suffer from it and have spent their entire lives hearing that word being used as a pejorative against them or people who continue to insist to deploy it in an attempt to be edgy despite a dozen similar words that don't carry those same connotations.

We all understand that it used to be a medical term in the same way that Negro was a scientific classification but the connotations its gained over the decades has turned it into a hateful slur that trivializes intellectual disability and dehumanizes people.

BigT
10-02-2017, 04:43 PM
Would you have said "Fact is, Bubba Gump was a nigger"? Bubba can't be offended, so it's okay, right?

A slur is different from a normal word. It doesn't just attack the person. It attacks an entire group of people. Just as calling even the worst person a "nigger" or "faggot" is beyond the pale, so is calling the most mentally challenged person a "retard."

They have told you that it is hurts. They have proven that it is used to dehumanize them. So, if you do care, stop using that word. If you don't, then don't whine about the consequences. It was your choice.

DooWahDiddy
10-02-2017, 04:56 PM
...I don't think anyone ever used the term "retard" in the movie...

That right there should tell you why you shouldn't have used it.

msmith537
10-02-2017, 05:58 PM
I apologize if I offended Forrest. The fact still remains that Forrest and Bubba were retards, Jenny was a whore and Lieutenant Dan is an asshole. That doesn't mean that they are bad people. You sometimes just have to work with what you are given kind of like a box of chocolates. To be fair, I don't think anyone ever used the term "retard" in the movie. They used the more PC term, "local idiot".

According to my Google-fu, one of the girls (prostitutes?) with Lt Dan and Forrest in New York calls Forest a "retard".



Also, according to this site, it's Hep C:
http://www.90skidsonly.com/1272811/secrets-behind-filming-forrest-gump-revealed/20/

Go figure.

Skywatcher
10-02-2017, 06:09 PM
Also, according to this site, it's Hep C:
http://www.90skidsonly.com/1272811/secrets-behind-filming-forrest-gump-revealed/20/That'd be the same thing mentioned here (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=20511136#post20511136), which, as noted in the following post, has virtually nothing to do with the movie.

RivkahChaya
10-02-2017, 07:26 PM
It's no more ok to say the r-word than it is to say oriental. Even if it's medically accurate, there's a dozen better ways of describing his condition than using such a charged word.


We all understand that it used to be a medical term in the same way that Negro was a scientific classification but the connotations its gained over the decades has turned it into a hateful slur that trivializes intellectual disability and dehumanizes people.

"Retard" was never a medical term anymore than "psycho" is a psychiatry term. People who work with people with developmental disabilities STILL use the term "Mentally Retarded," and in the correct context, there is nothing wrong with it. When someone is retarded, we generally say "a retarded person"; until the 1980s, there was a term "retardate," which meant the same thing, but it fell by the wayside, because it was too close to "retard." Granted, "retard" is short for "mentally retarded," but it's a short form no one in the field has ever used, just as no one in psychiatry has ever used "psycho" as an abbreviation of "psychopath," or "psychotic."

RivkahChaya
10-02-2017, 07:28 PM
According to my Google-fu, one of the girls (prostitutes?) with Lt Dan and Forrest in New York calls Forest a "retard".

So? People used "retard" as an insult all the time (and probably still do). Most people called "retarded" on the playground were not actually retarded.

Shagnasty
10-02-2017, 07:58 PM
So? People used "retard" as an insult all the time (and probably still do). Most people called "retarded" on the playground were not actually retarded.

Let me get this straight. We just had the most severe mass shooting in U.S. history, Trump is still President. Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have massive hurricane damage and the best thing we have to talk about are insults to fictional characters? Let's talk about nigger Jim from Huckleberry Finn while we are at it. Jesus Christ on a stick, these types of things are what people are referring to when they talk about PC culture gone bad.

I love the movie Forrest Gump but it has no relevance to anything in real life. He is just a retard that just happens to fall into every available opportunity by chance. The reason he was disabled is never given but I assume it was some kind of delivery complication rather than genetic. The whole point of the story isn't about him. It is just a vehicle to showcase American history.

Shagnasty
10-02-2017, 08:08 PM
I can change my language if it makes anyone feel better.

Forrest was an intellectually challenged individual that was mainstreamed because his mother was kind enough to fuck the principal so that he didn't have to go to a "special" school.

terentii
10-02-2017, 08:45 PM
I love the movie Forrest Gump but it has no relevance to anything in real life. He is just a retard that just happens to fall into every available opportunity by chance. The reason he was disabled is never given but I assume it was some kind of delivery complication rather than genetic. The whole point of the story isn't about him. It is just a vehicle to showcase American history.

Actually, polio was a major health threat for children especially until the late 1950s, when Salk's vaccine became available. I remember going to the Public Health Center in downtown Minneapolis with my mother and brother to get inoculated when I was four or five (1959--60).*

So yeah, his having to wear leg braces was very much part of American culture at the time.

*Afterwards, we went to a planetarium show at the brand new MPS Public Library on Nicollet Avenue, before it became part of "The Mall."

Chronos
10-03-2017, 09:02 PM
[Moderating]
The original book has Forrest hanging out with an ape and going into space as well. It is appalling bad and almost unreadable. I am still amazed that anyone was able to translate it into an Academy Award winning film (despite many opinions, I am still a huge fan of the movie and still think it is a brilliant touchstone).

What I am saying is that the book(s) and the movie aren't that closely related. I have read the books and seen the movie dozens of times. At least in the movie, she died of AIDS complications. That is made abundantly clear without being blatantly stated. It really doesn't matter what the book says because the screenwriters completely rewrote the entire story to be a montage of late 20th century history as seen through a retards eyes.

I'm ruling that "retard" falls into the same category as other offensive slurs, and giving a Warning for this one. "Retarded person" would carry the same meaning without being offensive, and "idiot" or "moron", while old-fashioned in scientific usage, would still have worked.

EDIT: On further review, I have rescinded the formal Warning, but "retard" is still not appropriate language.