Gilbert is stubborn because he sticks to his own beliefs. He always fights with his sister, Emmy, because he wants to prove that time is a different dimension, which also makes him determined.
Gilbert has a strong hatred for time because of his dad's death and wishes he could travel back to see him. Albert Einstein is a motive of Gilbert because he, too, has a theory that time is just another dimension.
In the beginning of the story, Gilbert had his father around which changed personality. He got the handcar to function and had some good times with his father while it lasted. Compared to his personality at towards the end of the story, he no longer had his dad which impacted a bit on his theory. He was more determined to prove his time theory.
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