On this day in 1995, the film Forrest Gump won best picture at the 99th Academy Awards. The movie was based on the 1986 novel of the same name, written by Winston Groom.
Groom grew up in Alabama, and many of his books, including Forrest Gump, draw on his experiences in Vietnam, where he served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1967. Before Winston’s novel was adapted for the big screen, it was not a big seller; however, after the film came out in 1994, the book became a bestseller. Winston’s 1988 novel Gone The Sun won the Pulitzer Prize (1).
Winston’s best-known character is the slow-witted southerner Forrest Gump, who faces his life with childlike innocence and optimism. Almost as memorable as the character himself is his iconic simile — a quotation that became one of the most famous lines in movie history: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.”
Today’s Challenge: Life is Like a Writing Assignment . . . .
What concrete noun presents the best figurative comparison for life? Notice how each of the similes for life below follow the same basic formula. Like Forrest Gump’s simile, they begin with a simple comparison, using “like” and a concrete noun. Each writer then follows the comparison with elaboration, explaining how or why life is like the concrete noun.
Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. -Charles M. Schulz
Life is like a play; it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. -Seneca the Younger
Life is like a dog-sled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes. -Lewis Grizzard
Write your own simile for life by brainstorming some possible concrete nouns. Use the list below to get you started.
a sandwich, a sandbox, a symphony, a slug, a salad, a game of checkers, a battle, a bruised banana, a lunchbox, a race, a book, a fire, an alphabet, a cat, a hammer
Feel free to modify your nouns with other words that make them more specific; for example, life might be a “relay race,” “a sprinting race,” or “long-distance race.”
Use the following template to help you construct your simile:
Life is like [concrete noun] _______; [Explain how, why, or under what circumstances life is like this] ______________.
Quotation of the Day: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein