"What's eating Gilbert Grape is an entertaining film that teaches the audience about life." Discuss.

Essay by lozza89High School, 10th grade November 2004

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"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 burdens and the conflicts, these people love each other and want to help each other survive.

Gilbert is bound by responsibility for his family and his hesitation to step into the new world.

We see this hesitation of change portrayed by Gilberts job. Gilbert works in a local grocery store, battling for customers due to the large commercialised "Foodland", which opened on the outskirts of Endora. Due to an accident, Arnie's birthday cake is ruined and Gilbert is forced into a last resort...Foodland. This marks a huge change for Gilbert and we see that he is now ready to move on and accept the world outside his house.

Gilbert finds Endora a bland, unexciting town until Becky arrives. She plays one of the most pivotal roles and brings importance and significance to the film. She is an individual and unconventional. Becky dresses alternatively and is not afraid what others think. She believes in inner beauty and believes 'beauty is only transitory and when it's gone, what do you have?" Through Becky, Gilbert realizes that he must re-asses himself...