Gilbert Grape Essay

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A 5/19/14 Mr.Locasio English 2B CP What's eating Gilbert Grape Gilbert Grape has been one of the strongest protagonists out of all the books we have read so far. In the book ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’, it demonstrates through the protagonist, Gilbert Grape, the horrible feeling of being trapped and unable to move forward. Gilbert feels trapped by the responsibility for his family and by the town and people of Endora. Gilbert’s strong conscience does not allow him to move on. It isn’t until he is able to let go of his feelings that he is able to move forward. He overcomes many triumphs including his family struggling as he has to provide for them and be a fatherly figure. This is a strong hand at task and the only thing was eating Gilbert Grape was his own mind. Gilbert does not leave Endora as he is responsible for his dysfunctional family. He has to provide physical and financial support as he is the only able male left in the Grape household. Gilbert is the only person able to take care of Arnie. When Arnie climbs the water tower, Gilbert knows exactly how to get him down, unlike Ellen who hurts Arnie physically to stop him from climbing the tower. Gilbert has to bathe Arnie and put him to bed and is often shown to be physically piggy backing him. He tells Arnie that ‘he is getting too big’ but Arnie sees Gilbert as ‘getting littler’ which symbolises that Gilbert is shrinking and therefore unable to grow or move forward. Another way Gilbert provides for his family is by keeping the house in order. The crumbling house is also a symbol for the dysfunctional Grape family and it is Gilbert’s job to maintain the repairs. His fear of entering the basement to help Tucker with the floor because “Dad’s down there” shows how he is trapped in a life he doesn’t want. Gilbert is also forced to support the family financially because the rest of his family

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