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Word Count: 1,164
Personal Identity in Whats Eating Gilbert Grape Personal identity is much like the blueprint for mankind like a house it is built and shaped after its design If not built properly the house will eventually fall apart from how it was built or by the causes of nature In the case of someones identity if built properly by an individual it will last and stay strong however adversity acts like a force of human nature and can either take a positive rebuilding role on a persons identity or a negative destructing role In the film Whats Eating Gilbert Grape and from the excerpt in the novel of the same title the director and author directly suggest personal identity as a key issue in the story Whats eating the good Gilbert is laid out for us like a feast The title from the author further suggests we consider not only whats eating Gilbert the forces preying on him but also whats eating at him his ways of handling those forces Living in Endora is like dancing to no music The lame tone of Gilberts voice over creates a feeling of nothingness and the movie opening with a track back along the road suggests a sense of withdrawal If Endora itself is nothingness what is life out in the sticks at the Grape house Life at the Grape house is very depressing for all Bonnie feels she has burdened her children and because of this Gilbert is forced to play the role of dad Arnies retardation makes it hard for the rest of the family to deal with him because he is so hard to look after All of this has a major impact on Gilbert Over the course of the film Gilbert undergoes deep change He is at first embarrassed by his mother speaks disparagingly of her and even at one point lifts a small child to the window to
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