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ava's avatar

What illness does jenny die from in the movie Forest Gump?

Asked by ava (971 points ) August 19th, 2007

I thought it was an unknown illness, but a friend of mine told me that it is supposed to be AIDS. I had thought cancer or something like that. Just wanted to know how others had interpreted it.

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15 Answers

glial's avatar

My guess is AIDS.

MrGuilt's avatar

I interpreted it as AIDS, too. Jenny seemed to do some of the higher risk behaviors. As you say, it wasn't spelled out, but that was my take. Someone who read the book might shed more light on it.

mirza's avatar

According to a paper from U Penn, she dies from AIDS
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/popcult/writing/forrest.html - skip tp the middle for the aids part

alabare's avatar

From wiki
at some point, Jenny learns she is suffering from an unknown virus and sends a letter to Forrest to come see her. She tells Forrest about their son, and her illness, apologizing if her problems in her past ever hurt him. Forrest invites her and Forrest Jr. to come stay with him. She and Forrest get married soon after. They spend a few happy months together as a family before she finally dies on March 22, 1982 Forrest has her buried next to the tree where they played as children and adults and has her father's house demolished. Though Forrest misses her terribly, he becomes a caring father to Forrest Jr.

Was also interesting to note that she did not die in the first book. Didn't happen until the sequel.

GD_Kimble's avatar

It's never overtly stated but it's AIDS

ava's avatar

Thanks guys!

landlord's avatar

I always assumed it was aids also. What a great movie that was.

skfinkel's avatar

I thought it was AIDS also--before anyone knew about the syndrome. All her behaviors pointed towards this. The nature of the movie seems to have been that Forrest was a bit ahead of the curve on almost everything, without using any thought at all--just kind of being there. The girl he loved getting AIDS would fit with this scenario as well.

Be's avatar

I believed that she died from AIDS, because when she told Forrest that she was sick she said she had a virus (what I thought was HIV) that was unknown and incurable.

regina's avatar

i always assumed it was aids as well. so what does that mean for forrest’s and little forrest’s health??

toonie's avatar

AIDS makes little sense. The fact that neither Forrest nor Forrest junior appear to suffer from the same ailment suggest that Hepatitis C is the most likely the culprit. Hep C is rarely transfered through unprotected sexual activity and mother to child transmission is equally as infrequent. AIDS was first recognized in December 1981. Jenny dies May of 1982. April 1989 Hepatitis C is discovered. Little known fact – Hep C is 4 times more infectious than HIV.

skfinkel's avatar

How do you catch Hep C?

joni1977's avatar

I figured it was AIDS also, Forrest and Forrest Jr. never contracted the virus because couples can live and have a sexual relationship without infecting the other partner. It all depends on the immune system. Being that Forrest lived a healthy and drug free life (he was an athlete in some sort), his immune system was probably strong enough to combat the virus.

hellokelly's avatar

Toonie, you said it all. It’s Hepatits C. You can catch Hep C through intravenous drug use (sharing needles), which clearly Jenny took part in. Definitely not AIDS or HIV. They knew what those viruses were by them time she died and she would have been diagnosed.

mullet's avatar

so i am unclear and would like further validation before i can take aids for an answer

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