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What's Eating Gilbert Grape Film Analysis Questions

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Film Analysis Questions

1. In detail, describe all the family relationships in the Grape Household. (i.e. Gilbert and his mother, Gilbert and his sisters, Arnie and Gilbert, Arnie and his sisters, etc) What role do each of them play in the household? How do they treat one another? Why do they behave the way they do?

2. What is Gilbert frustrated about in the film? How do we know this?

3. How does Gilbert's attitude change when Becky arrives? How important is her arrival?

4. Why do you think Gilbert has the affair with Mrs Carver? Why do you think she has the affair with him?

5. Which person in the Grape family is the strongest? Mentally? Emotionally? Justify your answers.

6. ENDORA - What do you think is the significance of the name of the town given what happens in the film and what the film is about?

7. What do you think are the ten main events in the film? List them in your books and explain the significance of each of them.

8. How does everyone treat Arnie? Why? How does Arnie behave towards everyone else? Why?

9. Why does Arnie keep climbing the water tower? Do you think the police were justified in the end when they arrested him?

10. Why do you think Momma went to the police station? (remembering this was the first time she had left the house in years)

11. Did you find the discussions which Gilbert, Tucker and Bob had in the cafй were important? Explain.

12. Why is Gilbert reluctant to introduce Becky to his mother at first? What makes him change his mind?

13. Is the death of Mr Carver significant? Why?

14. After Arnie is left in the bath, he has a fear of water. But later, Becky is able to coax him into jumping into the lake. What do you think makes him change his mind?

15. Lamson's Grocery is where Gilbert works. 'Foodland is where everyone shops'. Do you think the Grocery store symbolically represents Gilbert? If this is the case, what or who does Foodland symbolize?

16. In what ways is the Grape house important to the family who lives there?

17. In what ways does the memory of Albert Grape (Gilbert's father) still rule the lives of the Grape family?

18. What is the symbolic significance of the burning of the Grape house at the end of the film? Why did they burn it down? How do you think the children felt when it happened?

19. Why do you think Gilbert tries to hide the fact that Tucker is fixing the house (when he passes the wood in through the basement)?

20. In what ways do Ellen and Gilbert treat Arnie differently? In what ways do they treat him similarly? Why?

21. 'Did you ever see a beached whale on television? That's her. That's my mum' - Gilbert. How did you feel when you heard Gilbert describe his mother in this way?

22. 'got to do better' - This is a phrase that Gilbert hears from several people. Do you think Gilbert could 'do better' or was he already doing the best he could? Was it fair that he was being told to 'do better'? Discuss.

23. 'Do you ever think about your family?' - Mr Carver (when discussing life insurance with Gilbert). How do you think Gilbert felt hearing this question?

24. When Becky asks Gilbert what he wants he replies 'a new house for momma, for momma to take aerobics classes. I want Ellen to grow up. I want a new brain for Arnie ... I want to be a



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