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“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability

The purpose of a democratic society is to make all people that are the cells of society equal. However, there are people who have inborn or acquired disabilities that complicate their communication with other people. The further study will be based on the analysis of the features of mentality and conditions that are often faced by people with disabilities in society and the reaction of other people to people with disabilities as presented in literature and movies.

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It is possible to delineate the thesis statement of the study by analyzing the sources concerning people with disabilities. The article “The Handicapped” by Bourne may be considered the basis of the research because it offers the original point of view of the person who knows how to be in the shoes of a handicapped man. The article may be considered the algorithm of creation of motivation and belief in their own strength for people with limited abilities. What is more, the article informs a reader about the world of people with disabilities prompting the right way of behavior with people who need and deserve or adequate treatment. The author states that he finds himself “hopelessly dependent on [his] friends”, however, he “see[s] the way to happiness” (Bourne par. 31, par. 32). This means that friendship plays a vital role for people with disabilities, and it is a noble mission to provide them with it. The analysis of the film “Forrest Gump” will show the nature of the relationship between disabled people and the rest of society. The articles that analyze the reasons for the great popularity of the film will contribute to the understanding of the nature of the relationship of society and people with disabilities (Heller 152), (Zinsser 91).

The research will be based on the analysis of the role of handicapped people in the literature that represents the analysis of “symbolic and archetypal roles that the crippled play in imaginative literature” (Fiedler 34) with the image of a handicapped person in mass media. The material for analysis will be the film “Forrest Gump” (1994) directed by Zemerickis. The study will present the analysis of the character of the hero as a symbolic image of a person with disabilities as a person who is treated in society on the basis of prejudices. The analysis of the article that explains the popularity of the film will contribute to the development of the study (Zinsser 91). The comparison of symbolic images of people in literature and the character of Gump as an outstanding person with his eloquent statement: “Stupid is as stupid does” will create the basis of analysis of the perception of a handicapped person by society.

The process of formulation of our opinion has been influenced by the article by Barnes et al. who suggest the notion of “self-concept” as the one that is “is based … upon certain arbitrarily applicable relations that are established and maintained through a person’s interaction with their verbal community” (88). The same ideas of the importance of self-concept for handicapped people have claimed our attention in “The Handicapped”. The author shapes this concept as advice for people with disabilities: “grow up as fast as you can” (Bourne par. 30). Our study will include the research conducted by Barnes et.al and the analysis of the plot of the film. The background is offered by Bourne and the support of the articles will keep us unbiased. The personal opinion based on the film should be justified by scientific facts that will ensure unbiased analysis.

On analyzing the scientific sources and the factual material, it is possible to state that the thesis of the study will be the analysis of the symbolism of disability as the reaction and the perception of handicapped people by the rest of society and the role of movies in the creation of “self-concept” of people with disabilities.

Works Cited

Barnes, Dermot, Hannah Lawlor, Paul M. Smeets, and Bryan Roche. “Stimulus Equivalence and Academic Self-Concept among Mildly Mentally Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Children.” The Psychological Record 46.1 (1996): 87-92.

Bourne, Randolph. “The Handicapped.” Ragged Edge, 2001. Web.

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Fiedler, Leslie A. Tyranny of the Normal: Essays on Bioethics, Theology & Myth. Lincoln: David R. Godine Publisher, 1996.

Forrest Gump. DVD. Dir. Robert Zemerickis. Paramount Pictures, 1994.

Heller, Dana, and Elena Volkova. “The Holy Fool in Russian and American Culture: A Dialogue.” American Studies International (2003): 152-154.

Zinsser, Judith P. “Real History, Real Education Real Merit – or Why Is “Forrest Gump” So Popular.” Journal of Social History 29.SUPP (1995): 91-93.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 6). “The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 6). “The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability. https://studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/

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"“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability." StudyCorgi, 6 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/.

1. StudyCorgi. "“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability." November 6, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/.


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StudyCorgi. "“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability." November 6, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability." November 6, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-handicapped-by-bourne-as-a-general-framework-for-dealing-with-representations-of-disability/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“The Handicapped” by Bourne as a General Framework for Dealing With Representations of Disability'. 6 November.

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