"I'm Gilbert, Gilbert Grape. I repair things." Gilbert explains to us that he repairs things, however, the things he fixes aren't simply limited to physical objects. He also helps and supports the people around him. This is shown in many ways. For example, Gilbert is the leader of the family and is the one who holds them all together. He is the one who takes care of his autistic brother Arnie. He also fixes his own life to some degree, by beginning to take control of the situations around him.
Albert Grape, who was the father of the Grape family, had passed away. Gilbert was forced to become the new leader of the household out of necessity. He was like the glue that stuck them together. He was the only one with a job and he was using all his earning on supporting the family. He basically existed just for the wellbeing of his family. The fact that he is doing this for his family shows that he is supporting the people that he cares about.
Gilbert's little brother Arnie, had autism. He required constant care and Gilbert was the only one able to look after him.
Gilbert: "Do you know why I take care of you?"
Arnie: "Because you're Gilbert."
Gilbert: "That's right, because I'm Gilbert."
His sisters Amy and Emily where always busy with housework and school respectively. His mother wasn't able to even move from the couch without struggling because of her obesity. Gilbert was the only one who could look after him. This meant that Arnie was always with Gilbert at the store that he worked at and the diner that they would have lunch. while Gilbert didn't actually fix anything, he did provide some much needed support to Arnie and also improve their relationship with each other.
Gilbert's mother knew that he was ashamed of what she had become. He had come to terms with what had happened to her and wanted to prove that by bringing his friend, Becky, over to meet