Parlez wrote: Anyway, I'm a big believer in the use of the 'symbolic gesture' ~ it's makes the point sooo much better than words can (especially when nobody's listening to you) and it's very satisfying on an internal level. I don't see it as immature at all, though I tend to have a different definition of those labels than others. To me, it's funny, harmless*, and deeply empowering. It's a 'gotcha!' that can't be beat!
These symbolic gestures rather go along with his dry sense of humor inside his head.
gemini wrote:I think I'll look at this another way since you all covered the obvious reasons pretty well. Young boys need a father. Gilbert is 24 years old which is bit old for some of his behavior.
I think the fact that his father died caused more problems for him than just grieving over his death. Larry was 10 years older and left the family not long after Alberts death because he was of age. That meant Gilbert from about 7 or a little older was the only male in the family besides Arnie. This left him with no male influence from a pretty young age. He had no one to bond with or replace his father. He did try to take on responsibility but was still immature for his age.
Gemini, good point. And he never really got to be a kid. He had to grow up too quickly.