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Gilbert Grape Essay

Autor:   •  May 19, 2018  •  1,363 Words (6 Pages)  •  295 Views

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A structural-functionalist would view the family dynamics through the affirmation of cultural norms and values and the impact of the social structure in the family. Each child in the Gilbert family has a norm that they shouldn't be doing as Gilbert working a job and being the man of the house while he should have the option to do what he wants with his life, Amy being the mother figure instead of chasing her career. Arnie who should be in school and being taken care someone who has more time on their hands. Ellen who should be focusing on school, her life instead of work and her family, along with Mrs. Grape who should be the mother figure, but instead sits around all day because she is unable to move because her obesity.

A neo-marxist would view the family dynamics through power versus powerless. For example Gilbert and Mrs. Carver, she had taken him as a lover because she knew he'd never leave and tries to have an advantage on him by not walking out on her which almost worked on him. As well Gilbert and Arnie. Arnie has more power on Gilbert I would say because Gilbert has to look after him everywhere he goes and make sure he doesn't run off to get into trouble, which is hard for Gilbert to always keep an eye on him when he is always running off (example; when he leaves Arnie in the car and he goes to the water tower). One other way they would view is that Mrs.Gilbert has more power over her children because they have to do all the chores and errands she would originally have to do, but because she can't get up or move without getting tired they have to cook, clean and work for her (example; Gilbert, Amy and Ellen have jobs and have to bring the dining room table to her).

A symbolic interactionist would view the family dynamics through how others in the town think of the Grape's. Such as Mr.Van Dyke sees a family that has been broken since the loss of their father, but instead of judging them he goes helps them out with repairs that are needed around the house and is usually seen hanging around Gilbert and giving him advice. Another person would think of the Grape's is Gilbert's girlfriend Becky and her grandmother. For not a second do they judge Gilbert or Arnie when the first meet them instead they get along with them, inviting them to hang out and at the end of the movie to go on the road trip with them. Even when Becky meets Gilbert's mother Bonnie she is polite around her and is not take a back by her because of her weight like most people are. The last example would be the majority of the town and the younger generation of people in the town how they view the Grape's because they want to see how Mrs.Grape looks like and her weight. As well when she comes out to bail out Arnie there is a crowd of people mocking her, taking picture or saying rude words.


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