"What's Eating Gilbert Grape Is An Entertaining Film That Teaches The Audience About Life." Discuss

850 words - 4 pages

"What's eating Gilbert Grape is an entertaining film that teaches the audience about life." Discuss.Gilbert is a confused, naïve, but good-hearted young man who is doing his best at being the "Man of the House" in a family where there is no father, his younger brother is mentally impaired and his mother is dangerously obese. Both Gilberts sisters are faced with the responsibility of the families' survival, as is Gilbert. The story is set in a quiet town as the characters try to hold on and find grains of normalcy. The movie also features a young woman by the name of Becky who initiates the change needed so desperately by the Grapes as well as Endora. Despite their weirdness, the burd ...view middle of the document...

We see Bonnie (Gilberts mother) has had so many obstacles that she has given up, which has evidently became a weight problem. This can be seen as a representation of the enormity of her embarrassment and misery. She deals with her unhappiness through eating just as Ellen deals with her troubles through being a cliché 'teenager'.In What's Eating Gilbert Grape we see themes of freedom, responsibility and independence. When we first Gilbert is overcome with responsibility and lacks freedom or independence. He must find a balance and this is the Becky plays within the film; helping Gilbert see the bigger picture. Another theme visited by the film is death and the change it brings. The death of Bonnie enables Gilbert, Arnie, Ellen and Amy to release their responsibilities and obligations associated with the house; this is why the burning down of the house is symbolic. The theme of death is also prominent in the fact that the father had hung himself, leading to the degeneration of the Grape family. He hung himself in the basement of the house, which also shows that burning down the house 'releases them'. And death is a theme even to the extent of Mr Carver, Betty's husband, dying. It appe...

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