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Doctor Quackenbush

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The subject of this article:

  • exists in the Forrest Gump novel canon (including Gump & Co.)
  • is not mentioned in the Forrest Gump film canon

Doctor Quackenbush (alternatively called Professor Quackenbush) is an English professor at Harvard University in the Forrest Gump novel. He was briefly romantically involved with Jenny Curran, though the relationship ended when she found that he was married.

Forrest and Jenny encounter Doctor Quackenbush on the campus of the university, and he invites Forrest to attend his new class, the "Role of the Idiot in World Literature". The class is enlightening to Forrest, who realizes that idiots are "not just useless people," but were "put here for a purpose, sort of like Dan had said, an the purpose is to make people laugh. At least that is somethin." To illustrate, the Professor announces that the class will reenact a scene from Shakespeare's King Lear. Forrest plays the part of the Earl of Gloucester, but the reenactment ends abruptly when Forrest's torch sets the scene on fire. Forrest attends no more classes after that.

Near the end of the novel, it is revealed that Quackenbush has been fired from his job for molesting a student. Forrest hires him as a cook for his shrimping business, working in Mrs. Gump's étoufée operation.

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