Wednesday, March 16, 2011

General Nathan Bedford Forrest

"What does it suggest that these nostalgic, familial references to nationally sanctioned racial violence are translated through someone incapable of knowing what they mean?"

Berlant, Lauren. "On Being Normal, Average, Common, Ordinary, Standard, Typical, and Usual in Contemporary America." The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997. 180-87.

It did not take long for me to begin disagreeing with Berlant in her essay. This lines from the opening paragraph was the first strong disagreement I felt with her. This line suggests that the reference to and display of the Klu Klux Klan is meant to be a nostalgic and familial reference; however, this claim by Berlant is erroneous. This scene clearly demonstrates the negativity of the Klu Klux Klan. As Hanks' narrations make clear, Forrest Gump's name was meant to remind him that sometimes "people do things that just don't make sense." From the start Berlant moves to tear this movie down. Unfortunately many of her claims are rooted in clear mistakes.

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