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Media Critique:
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Media Critique:
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
“Struggling with autism in a small town” is not a common fantasy type seen in cinema films, which makes What’s Eating Gilbert Grape unique. Arnie, a character who displays symptoms of autism, is important to the overall meaning of the film. Arnie’s disorder not only pulls his family closer together, but it also shows the audience how someone with this communication disorder is viewed in a small town. His character development, as well as his family’s, is an inspiration. They are able to turn something that is usually seen as weakness into strength. The film was able to capture stereotypes concerning autism, such as frustration and annoyance. Also, Arnie’s character presented some misleading information of the portrayal of autism. By choosing to have a character with autism in the film, the audience was able learn about the communication disorder in an entertaining fashion through the development of the characters. Also, the audience was able to see different ways of handling the disorder through the characters of Gilbert and Ellen. Gilbert is more concerning and Ellen is more self-indulged and cares more about the views of others. The disorder was necessary to the film in order to develop characters, portray stereotypes, and shape the views of the audience.

Arnie was important to the character development of Gilbert because he influenced Gilbert to find the right balance in his life. The film begins with Arnie and Gilbert waiting for the campers to arrive. Gilbert is narrating and explaining to the audience that Arnie has outlived his estimated years of life. Even though the narration is discussing such a sensitive subject, it is easy to see the playful relationship that Arnie and Gilbert share. Their relationship clearly shows how Gilbert’s character develops. Gilbert is used to being responsible for Arnie’s well-being, but as soon as a love interest enters...
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