What's eating Gilbert Grape

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Is Gilbert a good man? Being good can have several interpretations. If ?good? is defined as efficient and reliable, then Gilbert is certainly good. But if good is used to mean morally well behaved, the Gilbert is not. He is however, good in the sense of being kind and caring. Therefor, Gilbert is not totally a good man nor is he a bad man. As the film What?s eating Gilbert Grape progresses, Gilbert becomes more sure of himself and his awareness of a world beyond Endora develops. With Becky?s help he start to think about what he is doing ? that he has the chance for his natural goodness.

His qualities of a good person develop and he becomes true to himself.

He is supportive.

In the most obvious physical sense, Gilbert is already ?good?. He is caring, reliable and kind to people around him. At home, he plays the role of father and takes the responsibility of the family.

He looks after Arnie and protects him. He shows gentleness and tenderness when he coaxes Arnie to get down from the water towel. He works hard and is loyal to the Lamsons. He fixes the dilapidated house making sure it doesn?t fall. He is generally.

To others, Gilbert is also eager to please.

Because Gilbert is usually nice and kind to people. He seems to be a good person. He is reliable. He takes responsibility of the family. He takes cares of Arnie and protect him. He is very loyal to the Lamsons. He is a father figure. However, all of these ?good? actions are just actions of a passive person. Therefor, he is doing whatever is requiring the least effort. He has by the end, acted in a more positive ways and some hope that perhaps for him and his family to more forward. But his actions are mentioned by desperation not pure goodness. There are, in fact, many things he could have done to make his family and himself a better situation. Such as encourage Momma to lose weight and take more responsibility, get a new job to make life more interesting, etc.

In fact, Gilbert? s passivity makes him not only do god things but also bad things. Such as the affair with Betty, calling her mother a ?beached whale?, taking our his anger on Arnie by hitting. They are all actions show he is not in control of his life. Gilbert is just reacting to particular situations, not even following what he normally believed is right. He looks reluctant with Betty. He neglects himself.

Gilbert is not a good person in any active sence.

Furthermore, much of what Gilbert does is confused and it is difficult to seek him as being good or bad. Because he feels trapped by his family, especially Momma and Arnie, he is sometimes angry. And his reactions are not good. But he also feels guilty after not being kind to them. When he got to visit Becky in the evening, not responsibly, assent his own right o the relationship. He is constantly tore between doing the right thing, because he feels he should and acting the ways he feels guilty about late uncertain. Even his act in the end brings the viewers laugh at it. It is good he mean kind to Momma. It is bad in the sense. It is violent, spontaneous and very crazy.