Finding Forrester Prompt #3

At the end of reading To Kill a Mockingbird, we discussed the idea that Harper Lee characterizes her novel as “a love story.” In what ways could Finding Forrester be considered a love story? Please again look beyond just the traditional view of romantic love.

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6 responses to “Finding Forrester Prompt #3

  1. meghanamysore

    Finding Forrester could be considered a love story in two ways, as I see it. Firstly, since both Jamal and Forrester have a love of writing, it could be a story about human’s love for the written word. Love can be defined as something that empowers and drives you, creating a sort of fire within you that makes you unstoppable. Jamal and Forrester were unstoppable. Their love for writing could not be tampered with, though others tried. In Jamal’s case, his school authorities told him that he had plagiarized, but this did not make him detest the written word. Love is something that never dies, despite any interference from the outside. Love is also something you find without thinking much, because it just happens. Forrester shows that writing is the same way, when he gives Jamal the advice to not think, and to just write. Love, and writing, has no limits, or boundaries, as shown by Forrester’s advice.

    Secondly, love in Finding Forrester could be seen as friendship, because, after all, friendship is the greatest form of love. The friendship that develops between Forrester and Jamal, again, has no boundaries. Forrester is an old man, who secludes himself in his house, while Jamal is a young, outgoing individual, who perhaps has not experienced many of the aspects of life Forrester has. Still, these two entirely different people become friends.

    Love is supposed to disregard any differences between people and unite. That is what happens in the case of Forrester and Jamal, through their shared love of writing.

  2. Gabriella Metelits

    Finding Forester can also be considered a story about two opposite passions or “loves” in Jamal’s life that came together: writing and playing basketball.

    Often, people who are gifted with athletic abilities are not associated with having the same aptitude for scholastic learning. Before Jamal was given an opportunity to partake in both passions at the private school, he felt pressured by his peers to forgo his writing in favor of playing basketball and hanging with “the crowd”. In class he was pressured to fit the stereotypes of a “stupid black” and a “dumb athlete” by not completing assignments and feigning his unfamiliarity with literary works. He was able to enjoy his love of basketball with his friends, but he was unable to grow in his love of writing where he was at and who he was with.

    Although Jamal had natural talent for writing, he needed Forrester to guide him further. Forrester simply fostered Jamal’s writing and helped him polish his work.

    Some have to choose between two different roads. If it weren’t for his opportunity to attend the private school, Jamal would have had to choose between basketball and friends, or a life of writing. Jamal did attend the school, however, and through hard work flourished in both writing and basketball.

  3. redinbon

    William Forrester and Jamal Wallace are bound by their love for reading. Jamal comes back to Forrester’s apartment multiple times because he realized that Forrester shares his interest in reading and writing. This is the first time that he feels really challenged by anybody, and it is a welcome change from his regular classes. In Forrester’s apartment, he isn’t pressured to be the star basketball player. He’s pressured to be the best he can be. Forrester doesn’t turn away Jamal when he returns because he understands and welcomes another mind that enjoys literature. Both protagonists also enjoy a challenge. Jamal’s new school is most definitely a challenge. Forrester has had very limited social interactions over the past few decades, and trying to teach a young black man how to write from the heart is also a challenge. Like any love story, they face obstacles, but in the end, they are closer than they were before- not just to one another, but also to their hopes and goals. Jamal has learned some valuable lessons from his mentor, and Forrester has learned more than he expected to from his student. This is similar to TKAM when Scout fears Boo the whole book and then learns how brave he is at the end of the story. They both gain courage and they realize how important friendship and love is by the end of the story.

  4. In “Finding Forrester,” a series of unpredictable events brings Jamal Wallace and William Forrester together, beginning a relationship that, in time, evolves into an inseparable bond of friendship. This unconditional “friendship” love is driven by another common love they both share: the love of writing. Even before meeting, both men, young and old, have fallen in love with words themselves. Although Forrester is an accomplished, Pulitzer prize-winning author, it is evident that Jamal also shares Forrester’s love of expressing himself through prose.

    In the movie, the fact that both characters share a love for writing is responsible for bringing the two together, leading to the development of another layer of love in the story. When William Forrester critiques Jamal’s writing that was in the backpack Jamal left at the recluse’s house, Jamal is intrigued by the criticism and asks William to read more of his work, determined to improve his writing skill. Thus, a relationship is formed between the two writers, and the love that is created is the same as the love that is evident between two best friends. Forrester learns the importance of companionship and of persevering in life despite the hardships that one endures. Jamal, on the other hand, finds an unexpected friend, and learns many valuable lessons concerning both writing and life from the world-renowned writer.

    Two underlying stories of love are woven together to form the movie’s plot, the first being the love between a man and his words, and the second being the love between two unlikely best friends. Together, these stories overlap one another to form one meaningful story about friendship, loss, and perseverance.

    ~ Maia Lee

  5. Finding Forrester can be considered a love story in not that of romantic love, but rather in the way that comes through friendship, hardship and when people care for each other enough to sacrifice their reputations and social standings. Love, I believe is all about self-sacrifice, and Finding Forrester plays up this theme greatly. For example, Mr. Forrester exited his home and sacrificed his name so that Jamal’s slate could be wiped clean. Jamal showed love to Forrester by being there for him when everyone else had abandoned him, in return for help in his writing. A common passion for writing brought these two unlikely friends together, and helped them both succeed in ways they never would have guessed. This passion can also be defined as love because the relationship between Jamal and his writing and Forrester and his writing is huge, and it effects their personal lives immensely.

    Overall, this is a story about passion and friendship and how the combination of the two can cause tremendous miracles to happen within oneself.

  6. Daniel Kim

    I believe that in this case, the love is not unconditionally reserved for the friendship that Jamal and Mr. Forrester shares but rather the passion of writing that they both express. Their deep, but quite indefinite, craving for expressing stories in form of literature has managed to bring two very individual and diverse characters together to a strong friendship. At first, before the Jamal and William relationship was further invested, they were brought together merely for their mutual interest, writing. Although Jamal was intrigued by William, there were many instances in which he showed disrespect to William. William had too disliked Jamal at first. It was Jamal’s craving of writing that had still brought them together.

    Jamal had looked up to William for help, William’s advice for improving Jamal’s pieces. William had chosen to help Jamal although he had developed a palpable abhorrence to Jamal’s figure. In the eyes of William, Jamal was only an inconsistent, dangerous black man that had broken into his home and tried to steal his possessions. Despite the negative impressions that Jamal had left on William, William had still decided to help Jamal improve his writing. I believe that their common interest in writing had played a key role in establishing the great relationship that they had later developed.

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