What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Essay? In the spoken text What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? , Gilbert is presented as a complex person neither good or totally bad. Due to his family Gilbert is thinking more about his family rather than himself. He says he wants heaps of different things for his family but only to be a good person for himself. Throughout the spoken text we (the audience) see Becky make Gilbert think more about himself rather than his family. In the most obvious physical sense, Gilbert is already good. He works at Lamson’s Grocery store. Gilbert works there so he can earn money and buy food from there.
If he didn’t have his job there the family wouldn’t have any food to eat. Another thing that Gilbert takes care of is the household repairs. He organizes for Tucker to come around and help fix the electricity and foundation problems that the house has. Tucker does this as he is the town handy man. Without Tucker Gilbert would spend lots of time fixing the house. Gilbert also takes care of Arnie. He has to give Arnie day to day care and constant supervision. An example of this is when Gilbert has to bath Arnie and leaves him to do it himself so he can go back to see Becky.
Arnie ended up staying in the bath all night until Gilbert found him the next morning. “Where is your head at lately Gilbert” Bonnie. “I nearly drowned” Arnie. This proves Arnie needs constant supervision. These are some of the good physical things Gilberts does throughout the spoken text. Gilbert’s life is filled with conflicting loyalties of duty and love. Gilbert both loves and resents his family at times, particularly his mother Bonnie and brother Arnie. Gilbert loves his mother but resents her as she used to be beautiful. He commonly refers to her as a “beached whale” and “fat” as he is frustrated and annoyed with her.
If Bonnie wasn’t as fat, Gilbert would love her more and not be as upset or angry. Gilbert also loves Bonnie and we see this when, she dies upstairs of the family home and Gilbert burnt the house down to stop the embarrassment for the family and to maintain Bonnie’s dignity. The only way they would have got Bonnie out of the house is by a crane a she was so big. Gilbert did the right thing by burning the house down. Gilbert resents Arnie as he needs constant supervision and care it means Gilbert doesn’t have much free time so he doesn’t have much of a social life.
If Gilbert had more free time he might have had a real job and social life but as he is so tied down with Arnie he can’t have any of this. Gilbert also loves Arnie though as they have a really good friendship and get along really well. An example of Gilbert and Arnie having such a good friendship is when Arnie climbs up the water tower and Gilbert talks him into coming down when he hadn’t made it to the top yet. Another example that shows us that Gilbert loved Arnie is after Bonnie had died Gilbert continued to look after Arnie. If Gilbert and Arnie didn’t have a good friendship things would have been a lot more different in the Spoken text.
Gilbert is not ‘good’ to himself; in fact, even Arnie tells him, “You’re shrinking. ” Gilbert living in Endora impedes on his outlook. Gilbert’s job at Lamson’s is a clear example that shows he doesn’t have much of a future. Unless he changes jobs, his career will go nowhere. It would be hard for Gilbert to get a new job as he is living in such a small town but if he travelled like Becky he might be able to find a new job in a new and bigger town. But at the moment Gilbert doesn’t have a very good looking future. Gilbert acts from a sense of obligation, but not by personal choice.
He is expected to do everything as if it is a choir but he has no choice as his family isn’t doing anything to help. Gilbert’s job is an obligation as no one else has a job so there is no other source of money income. If Arnie wasn’t mentally retarded and if Bonnie wasn’t obese Gilbert wouldn’t have to act from a sense of obligation. Gilbert is presented as a complex person neither good or totally bad. Overall Gilbert is a good person. His physical sense is good for his family but his emotional sense is bad. Becky helps Gilbert to become good and by the end of the spoken text he was good.