WEGG Question #32 ~ And in the end...

by Peter Hedges

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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WEGG Question #32 ~ And in the end...

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu May 03, 2007 8:26 am

We have come to the end of another wonderful discussion. :bawl: They always seem to go so fast! Thanks as always to our wonderful Noodlemantras for stretching my brain and making me see things in a new light. You all are the best! :applause: Liz and I hope you will give our next read a try and join us! And now in the end...

So What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (Question mark optional ;-) ) What say you?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby SamIam » Thu May 03, 2007 10:09 am

:lol: Question mark optional! Too funny. What is eating Gilbert Grape? I think he is eaten by a lot of things including his father's death, his mom, and how he is embarrassed by his family. His shame and guilt are eating him. He felt responsible for not being able to save his dad but who knows the guy still might have done it anyway. But that is what is eating Gilbert Grape.
Ambition without inspiration is like a boat on dry land.

the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu May 03, 2007 11:13 am

I agree that all those things are eating him, SamIam, and the trouble is that he feels powerless to stop being eaten. He feels like he's being swallowed up by his family. I marked 23 places where he spoke disparagingly of his life, mostly in regard to his family. "I dream about the kind of families I watched on TV as a kid. I dream about pretty people and fast cars, and I dream I'm still me but my family is someone else."
He can't rail against a dead dad or a disabled brother and mom. He can't leave them stranded. So all he can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on until, with a little luck, there's a breakthrough. His emotions of resentment and guilt and frustration have to stay bottled up, leaving him unable to feel free to pursue his own goals. Mrs. Betty Carver provides a bit of an outlet, but also just leaves more guilt. He considers Lamson's an "oasis," (no family there, just nice, appreciative people).
So Gilbert can't eat, but he can be eaten up. :-/
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

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Unread postby Endora » Thu May 03, 2007 1:06 pm

Perhaps it's modern big business media driven US of A that's eating him? The way that the Foodlands are taking over from the Lanson's, the way the Lances of this world are idolised merely because they appear on TV, the way that the TV (so constant a feature that it becomes a family member itself) projects the impossible ideal of the perfect family, the way that quantity always seems to win over quality (food metaphor here?) To me Gilbert is stuck in an era before any of this happened, pretty much when his father died or even before that. A sort of idealised recent past where things were somehow better and more caring, and the part of him that doesn't want to grow up can't accept the changes that are going on around him.
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 nebraska » Thu May 03, 2007 5:13 pm

Oh, but it isn't really the END of everything, we have the wonderful Darlene Cates interview to look forward to! :bounce: I can hardly wait for that!

What's eating Gilbert Grape? I think what is eating Gilbert is a sense of powerlessness.....he is unhappy living at home with his dysfunctional family, he is unhappy with his so-called love life (an older married woman and a younger tease), he is unhappy with the encroachment of "progress" in his community, he is unhappy with so many things, but he doesn't feel like he can do anything to fix any of it. Some of his sense of futility may go back to his father's death and being shamed for the wetting incident, some of it may be because he has been beaten down by Mama's constant interest in only one of her children, but whatever the causes, Gilbert feels like his life is out of control and going down the drain and he can do nothing to stop it. Maybe that sense of powerlessness is actually a form of depression. :-/

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Unread postby Liz » Thu May 03, 2007 8:16 pm

I agree with all of you. And you are right, Nebraska, it is not the end of Gilbert Grape for ONBC. We do have Darlene’s interview to look forward to. :bounce:

Thank you all for participating. As usual, you all have enlightened me and challenged me. :notworthy: I’ve enjoyed every bit of this discussion. And I look forward to seeing you all again next time.
:hope:
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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby gemini » Thu May 03, 2007 8:29 pm

You all have pretty much came up with everything eating at poor Gilbert. He just felt like he was never going to have time to find a life of his own. Anyhow, I for one am glad something was eating Gilbert or we would have missed out on a great book.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu May 03, 2007 9:21 pm

I'll second that thought, gemini! You all have nailed it on the head, I think. As usual! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Thu May 03, 2007 9:51 pm

Nothing to add, I agree with what's beeen said.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown


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