WEGG Question #21 - The Voice Inside Gilbert's Head

by Peter Hedges

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WEGG Question #21 - The Voice Inside Gilbert's Head

Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:52 pm

What is your favorite quote from Gilbert’s voice inside of his head?

From his out loud voice?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Iceflower
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Unread postby Iceflower » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:13 pm

This was a very hard question. Now I must think, but one of the things Gilbert says, and I like is:

"I'd rather be wrong than concede that Tucker was right. I never let him win, either, and if he were ever about to, I'd have no choice but to change the rules" (Page 35)

But my fave saying by Gilbert, I have to think about.
"To be a pirate - it's a childhood dream, isn't it? To basically get away with everything... and get paid for it!" - Johnny Depp

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:18 pm

Really bad at remembering quotes, so not sure I have one of either. :-/ Have to look through the book

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:50 pm

I’m bad at remembering quotes, too, GG…..unless they were spoken by Johnny.

That was a funny one, Iceflower. I find many of the thoughts in his head to be humorous, in a dry sort of way. Here’s one of my favorites on Pg. 172:


Mayor Jerry Gaps rides by in a convertible. His wife is Barbara of Barb’s Beauty Shop. They smile and wave. Barbara Gaps is her own bad advertisement.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:12 pm

The quotes that got to me the most from inside Gilbert's head were his thoughts on other people:
Momma: ....there's no thank you for the cigarettes. She says a person shows their gratitude by action, not by words. So I guess that means she thanks me by smoking every cigarette in the pack. (P.37)
Becky: I have seen God and he is this girl. (P. 40)
Mr. Lamson: I want to say, "I've never missed having a father, because of you," but I stay quiet. (P. 86)
Arnie: He was there for about a week, which was way too long. I always thought he was pretty stupid and worthless, but I didn't realize he was about the best thing going---till he lost his eye. (P. 111)
Amy: I notice her mouth is about as gentle as they come, and her face, while beginning to puff out, has the kindest quality. My sister is not an ugly woman. I don't know if there's a better person around. (P.178)
The Grapes: Once upon a time my family had a certain fuzzy charm. Not anymore. Now we're like a boil on the butt of Iowa. (P. 240) :yuck2:
Sorry! I sure didn't pick one favorite quote and certainly could have done without the last one! Have to work on the out loud quote and will try to stick to one. :blush:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

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Unread postby Parlez » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:16 pm

This is the first one that came to mind:

"With Arnie, even when you win, you lose."
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Unread postby Endora » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:24 pm

Very hard question Liz. Like GG I will have to get back to you, but I do think that Gilbert's inner voice is fantastic, the sort of acidic perception that Holden Caulfield had but with a lot less angst.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:02 pm

That guy really did internalize...very difficult to come up with much he said out loud. But, of course, he did talk to his Arnie. When Ellen was dragging Arnie by his ankles and pulling his hair in an effort to get him to go home, Gilbert just lay down next to him and said, "I've gotta go to work. Somebody has got to be at home protecting Momma and Amy. Even Ellen. Will you be their protector? Will you be their guard? I'm counting on you, buddy." (P. 76) Magic! :cloud9:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:07 pm

Endora, my son is reading that book (Catcher in the Rye) for English class right now. :shocked: I tried to get him to talk about it with me, but he wasn't that interested. :-/ I'd like to read that book some day.

Betty Sue, those are some good ones, and more than one is OK. There are plenty to go around. I didn't start earmarking them until half way through the book. That's a great out-loud quote! :cool: Gilbet was such a good big brother to Arnie.

Parlez, that quote is so Arnie.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Red Shoes » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:32 pm

My copy had to go back to the library and my poor overtired brain can't remember any quotes right now.

I very much agree with this one that Betty Sue posted -

I want to say, "I've never missed having a father, because of you," but I stay quiet.

It expresses so much of Gilbert's personality and desires, I think, in one little sentence.
"It's good to be different."

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Unread postby Parlez » Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:36 pm

Here's another internal one I liked:

"Perhaps it is this excess of integrity that keeps the crowds away from Lamson Grocery. Perhaps Mr. Lamson is like a constant reminder of our shortcomings. A man who works all day, every day and loves each apple he uncrates, who cherishes each can of soup - a man like that surely puts us all to shame."
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:11 pm

I didn't realize how many of Gilbert's internal thoughts I had marked! Gilbert touched some real sensitive spots in my heart, I loved listening to him think! Here are a few internal Gilberts:

About Arnie: He loves to hide, but only if you take the time to find him. And while I suspect that's true for most people, only a retard or a kid would admit it.

About his father in the cemetery: I roll over on my stomach and try to picture what my father looks like now. His skin is surely gone, and his heart and brain and eyes have turned to whatever it is they turn to. Dust, maybe. I'm told hair is one of the last parts of you to decay. The bones most certainly are still there, still rotting. There are two weeds to the left of his tombsone. I pull them out and throw them several feet onto somebody else. My heart beating confirms I am alive.

About Tucker: It usually takes two beers for him to like himself, but tonight he needs only half a can. And another one: It occurs to me that maybe Tucker loves my mother because she has no interest in him.

About Mama: Let her die if that's what she wants. At least my father could make up his mind.

Again about Mama: I stared at her -- unable to accept that at one time I was growing inside her. I was once just a couple of cells. My father and my mother were naked and something had to be satisfactory about it, because he came inside her and she got pregnant. She, like me, was once a baby in her mother's stomach and so on and so forth and so it goes. So it goes.

And the family: You can tell the idylike nature of a family by the upkeep of its picnic table. Ours is its own indictment. We are splintered and peeling. We rot.

And one more about himself: I've these lines around my cheeks from pretending to smile too much, little webs around my eyes. Early signs of aging.


And finally, part two

A spoken Gilbert-sim: If you live with something long enough, it becomes normal.

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Unread postby Parlez » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:14 pm

Oh, here, I think I found my favorite ~

"Phyllis Staples, the town's piano teacher and mother of Buck...enters the store. Mrs. Staples goes back to the dog food section. She has a collie named Lassie. That's the kind of original thinking that just makes this town such an exciting place." :lol:
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:56 pm

nebraska wrote: About Arnie: He loves to hide, but only if you take the time to find him. And while I suspect that's true for most people, only a retard or a kid would admit it.


Wow! I love that quote. It is so telling about a lot of people, as Gilbert voiced.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby gemini » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:46 pm

Thanks Nebraska and Betty Sue for listing so many of Gilberts quotes, like Red Shoes, I returned my book to the library and don't have a good enough memory to recall them. It brings them back to me.
Since I can't look it up, I'll ask to see if any of you remember one that I'm trying to recall. Its Gilbert talking to Ellen and his remark is something like." She thinks I'm listening to her but I'm not." I know this isn't exacty correct but does anyone remember the remark? It may not be my favorite but I thought it was cute at the time.
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