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Becky What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 3 (630 words)
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What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Why Is Gilbert and Becky’s Relationship as Strong as It Is?

In the film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”? directed by Lasse Hallstrom, a strong relationship develops between Gilbert and Becky. How they think and feel about each other is reflected in their actions and conversations and these moments help the viewer to understand why their relationship is as strong as it is. Gilbert Grape lives in the small American town of Endora. In the beginning of the film we hear Gilbert’s dull and dreary voice describing living in Endora as “like dancing to no music … it’s a place where nothing much ever happens and nothing much ever will.

This introduction leads the audience to understand that Gilbert has entirely lost his zest for life; his monotonous voice represents his repetitive daily patterns. Since his father died and his older brother “got away”, Gilbert has had the tedious job of looking after his unusual family.

This has eaten away at him and he now feels trapped – he is alive but not ‘living’. When Becky unexpectedly arrives on the scene we are immediately made aware that she will bring a change to Gilbert’s circumstances.

In many scenes we see her connected to water – for instance when she encourages Gilbert to join her in the pond – a connection that symbolises she is here to ‘cleanse’ or renew Gilbert. We can also tell that Becky looks at everything in a positive way when she declares, “I love the sky … it’s so limitless. ” As Becky encourages Gilbert to change he begins to view his world in a different light. Their relationship develops because Gilbert has met someone who, for the first time in his life, asks nothing of him. Becky also challenges Gilbert to express his emotions, something we see when she asks, “What do you want for you?What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Why Is Gilbert and Becky’s Relationship as Strong as It Is?What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Why Is Gilbert and Becky’s Relationship as Strong as It Is?

Just for you? ” a question to which Gilbert can only reply, “I want to be a good person” – something he says because being a ‘good’ son and brother represents the limit to all he thinks he can be; however, Becky’s allows Gilbert to see that he does not have to be perfect. As a consequence, he develops a trust in her which we see when he takes her to visit his morbidly-obese mother. This is a significant turning point in Gilbert’s life because he is usually ashamed of his mother – the “whale”, as he describes her to both Becky and his friend Tucker – and has never before taken anyone to meet her.

Gilbert’s relationship with Becky eventually leads to a more intimate level and, through further narrative and visual features of the film, we understand that this is because they are both emotionally in touch with one another, rather than being people who simply want to use each other – as we might say of Betty Carver. Gilbert and Becky’s relationship is both strong and durable and the setting, plot and dialogue of the film help us to understand why. Verbally, Gilbert ‘opens up’ and his voice takes on a happier tone.

However, when we see the way Becky interacts with Arnie and takes the time to meet Bonnie, we understand that Becky is the main catalyst for change and it is her presence in the film that brings about Gilbert’s transformation. Although at the end of the film it is left to the viewer to decide whether Gilbert and Becky will remain together, or even marry (the typical Hollywood ‘fairy-tale ending’) the story does make it clear that Gilbert has been freed from his repressed feelings and emotions. It is for this reason, above all others, that we can see why Gilbert’s relationship with Becky is as strong as it is.

Cite this essay

Becky What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/becky-whats-eating-gilbert-grape-new-essay

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