What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Characters

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Arnie is a seventeen-year-old boy who is about to turn eighteen. Arnie is also retarded. Arnie is very sensitive, but ironically makes a hobby out of killing grasshoppers by chopping off their heads with the mailbox flag.

Arnie is the next to the youngest of the Grape children. He is only older than his sister Ellen. Arnie was a baby, only 18 months old, when his father committed suicide. The same day that Arnie was undergoing tests and diagnosed as retarded at a hospital in Des Moines, Iowa is the same day that Arnie's father hung himself from the rafters of their basement in the Grape home. when Arnie is diagnosed by the doctors, he is also diagnosed not to live a long life. Arnie defies this diagnosis by making it to his eighteenth birthday, which is also Bonnie Grape, Arnie's mom, has always wished for him.

Arnie...

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This section contains 951 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
What's Eating Gilbert Grape? from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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