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Gilbert Grape Essay

1519 words - 7 pages

Theory:
The character that I am going to analyze is Gilbert Grape from What's Eating Gilbert Grape an American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström. The personality theory that I would provide to analyze Gilbert Grape’s character is Carl Roger’s theory, which is on the actualize version of the fulfillment model. Roger emphasized that central predisposition of humans is to actualize their inherent potentialities. This means that a pressure in people leads them in the direction of becoming whatever it is in their inherited nature to be, however this process is not always easily possible in all the individuals. Such as with Gilbert Grape who is restricted and embedded from expressing himself ...view middle of the document...

This personality type has developed through the conditional positive regard that Gilbert has received from his family; therefore there are conditions of worth, incongruence between self and potentialities, and defensiveness (Maddi, 1996). A conditional positive regard is a situation in which “only some but not all of our actions, thoughts, and feelings, are approved of and supported by the significant people in our lives” (Maddi, 1996, p.107), and this type of regard further creates an incongruence in what the person pursues to be and is expected to be. Furthermore a maladjusted type person emphasis on maintaining rather than enhancing living, and has the opposite characteristics of a fully functioning person. The main characteristics of a maladjusted person are defensive; they live according to a preconceived plan, and disregard their organism or known as entity (Maddi, 1996). The Grape family lives in an isolated town of Endora in a house that seems to be in shambles since their father died. In the beginning, Gilbert's voiceover states, "living in Endora is like dancing to no music, It's a town where nothing much ever happens... and nothing much ever will (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape)," which can lead us to conclude that Gilbert is a living life that has no possibility of enhancement. The first maladjusted type of characteristic that Gilbert represents is that his life emphasis on maintain rather than enhancing life. This can be inferred from the job that Gilbert has in Endora, he stocks shelves and delivers groceries for a local store, Lamson's Grocery, whose business has been deserted by the new supermarket in town. Even though Gilbert knows that his job has no potentiality of enhancement he still remains at his old job, because he does not want to change any thing.
Another example of how Gilbert feels reluctant to enhance his life can be seen through his dialogue with his friend, who talks about moving, and Gilbert says, “we don't really move. I mean, we'd like to, but... my mom is sort of attached to the house. Attached is, I guess, not the right word. She's pretty much wedged in” (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). From this dialogue we can infer that Gilbert lives a life that has no enrichment, and even though he might want some change in his life he does not receive any support from his family to express that desire. Additional reasons that Gilbert is a maladaptive type, because he feels manipulated rather than free and are common and conforming rather than creative. Others always manipulate Gilbert such as Betty who is married women that always makes Gilbert drop off the groceries at her house, and then she manipulates him to have sex with her. Afterwards, when Gilbert’s affair ends with Betty, Betty says to Gilbert that “Hey. I could have had any guy, any guy, but I chose you. I chose you,” and when Gilbert said, “Why did you,” and then Betty replies saying “Because... I knew you'd always be there. Because I knew you'd never leave”...

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