What's Eating Gilbert Grape Life Stages Essay

2384 Words Dec 21st, 2014 10 Pages
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: A Look at Various Life Stages
COUN5004- Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors Abstract
The life stages for an individual changes as a person grows older and has various experiences in life. There is a change in the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth as an individual age. “The process of development is linked to internal conflicts, changing self-awareness, and a dynamic social environment” (Newman & Newman, 2012). Understanding the current stage, assist the counselor in therapeutically preparing for treatment. This paper will view the members of the Gilbert family including Gilbert, Arnie, and Bonnie Grape through various life stages from school age
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The social expectations for Arnie are very low. Even though he turns 18 years old in the movie, his siblings are responsible for preparing his meals, supervising him at all times, bathing him, and his general care. The people in the town understand that Arnie is delayed and allows this delay to excuse his behaviors. Due to these expectations, Arnie does not feel a sense of inferiority. Newman & Newman (2012) stated “Feeling of worthlessness and inadequacy come from two sources: the self and the social environment (pg. 322). Arnie’s older brother attempted to assist Arnie in developing his industry by instructing Arnie to bathe himself. Arnie was unsuccessful in completing this task and remained in the tub all night until his brother took him out of the tub the next day.
Arnie’s developmental delay affects his neurological functions which causes difficulty for him in verbalizing himself to others. He seeks comfort from his mother to calm him down. In Newman & Newman (2012), “Healthy brain development must be coupled with a social environment that encourages hypothetical, abstract reasoning; opportunities to investigate and explore alternative solutions; and a well developed symbolic capacity for carrying out mental representations and operations” (pg 356). Without these skills and developmental delay, Arnie may not be able to develop these higher functions of formal operations.
Gilbert Grape is the primary caregiver for Arnie and the male head of the

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