Analysis Of The Movie ' What 's Eating Gilbert Grape '

1572 Words Mar 10th, 2016 7 Pages
Analysis Paper of the Film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Sharon K. Chapman
Tarleton State University

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Analysis Paper of the Film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
The Grapes are a poor, Midwestern family living in an isolated part of their community.
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After Gilbert solves the problem, Mama and Arnie comfort each other, in the process they blame Gilbert for the behavior of Arnie. Gilbert becomes the scapegoat as far as Mama and the family are concerned. The cycle repeats itself with Arnie again acting out. The Grape family is a classic example of a dysfunctional/functional, enmeshed family. In essence, they have become what they need to be, to survive.
Enmeshed Family System. The concept of the Enmeshed Family can be used to describe the Grape family. An enmeshed family is “a pattern of unhealthy relationship patterns in which the role boundaries between various family members are so vague or diffuse that there is little opportunity for independent functioning” (Barker, pg. 155). Gilberts role as the caretaker of the family has left him with a very narrow existence. During Gilberts narration he says he wants a brain for Arnie, a new house, and for Mama to exercise. All he asks for himself is to be considered a good person. Gilbert does not have time to practice self-care. It has caused him to become depressed, and he has no differentiation of self. There is not an independent identity within this family (Helm, 2014).
Strengths. Each member has a very clear sense of their responsibilities that have worked to hold the family together. Gilbert has a set of rules or codes to live by, such as nobody hits Arnie. The rules have
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