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What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

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"What's Eating Gilbert Grape" shows that relationships are both stifling and essential to personal happiness. What's Eating Gilbert Grape portrays many different types of relationships. Gilbert's relationships with his family can at times be both stifling and essential. "Endora is where we are...it's like dancing to no music." With Arnie needing Gilberts care all of the time this relationship creates tension in his life. The new girl in town, Becky, creates a relationship quintessential for Gilberts' life. She helps to open Gilbert up to his life and that he can in fact go anywhere. The Grape family consists of Gilbert, Ellen, Amy, Mama, Larry, and of course, Arnie. ...read more.


His oldest sister Amy is a very caring woman that tries to take on many responsibilities herself and the youngest sister Ellen, who is only fifteen, has many issues with her family that she is trying to overcome. The "yearly ritual" of Gilbert and Arnie watching the caravans that pass through Endora show what looks like a suppressive relationship between the two. Gilbert's brother Arnie, who is mentally, challenged needs constant supervision, which places many ongoing responsibilities on Gilbert. Arnie is not your average boy; he is mentally challenged and was not expected to live to see his tenth birthday, let alone, his eighteenth, which he surpasses in the movie. ...read more.


Arnie's water tower escapades are a source of great aggravation to the police and the Grape family always saying that Gilbert should "do better". Arnie obtains a fear of water when Gilbert abandons him in the bathtub for the night, and does not over come his apprehension until he flees to Becky after a fight he had with Gilbert. Water has always been seen as a time when good occurs so to have Arnie scared of the water is a big deal. One to which Becky easily fixes with her essential relationship with Gilbert and Arnie. At the same time this relationship with Arnie and Becky is one that is a main part of Gilberts' life. Becky, a young girl that traveled into town with her grandmother and their caravan found romance with Gilbert and a certain connection with Arnie accordingly. ...read more.

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