WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE
Gilbert Grape lives in
Endora, Iowa; a place, in middle of nowhere, where nothing much happens. Gilbert
has an obese mother that is a recluse because his father committed suicide in
the basement of the house when Gilbert was young. Gilbert has two older
sisters, an older brother, a younger sister and a younger brother. However, he doesn’t get much help from any of
them and is mostly sad and under a lot of stress. Gilbert has to
constantly, take care of his younger brother Arnie, while working for the
town’s convenience store.
I believe the cognitive perspective can be effectively
used to describe, what’s actually
eating Gilbert. During the movie, there was a scene where Becky asks Gilbert
about his wishes and needs.
want Momma to take aerobics classes. I want Ellen to grow up. I want a new
brain for Arnie. I want…
What do you want for you? Just for you?
Gilbert: I want to be a good person.”
This scene was important as it displayed that
gilbert had a lot of mental stress on his mind due to his family. Since, cognitive approach deals with mental
processes like memory and problem solving, this scene perfectly represented the
cognitive approach, as Gilbert just wanted to be a nice person, however, when
he was saying this it could be noticed that he wanted much more.
a lot of items in my mind, including family, his brother Arnie suffering with autism
and his loneliness.
The psychodynamic perspective can
also be used to analyze the scene when Gilbert for the first time hit Arnie and
ran away in anger and shock. I believe that when Gilbert hit Arnie it was his unconscious
that forced him to do that as it was evident from the movie that Gilbert had
very little ID and had a high Superego as he always put others before him.
After unconsciously hitting Arnie, Gilbert consciously realizes what he had
done and storms out with disbelief, realizing what he had done was not right.
Another perspective that can be used
is the behavioral perspective. Throughout the movie we can view the different
colors of Gilbert. For example, when he is with his mama he is very calm and
tries to comfort her, also when he is with his family he feels sad and just
remains quiet as he has to take up all the responsibilities of the house. But
more importantly, when Gilbert hit Arnie after Arnie ate the cake, it was
evident that the environment that Gilbert was living in, and the lifestyle he
had clearly frustrated him, and was looking for an outlet. But right after hitting
him, Gilbert felt he had done the wrong thing and quickly realized his mistake
leaving him in a state of sadness.