Eat, Pray, Love

1 January 2017

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a memoir about her journey to discover who she truly is and what she wants in her life. She leaves her old life in America behind, kissing her divorce and love affairs goodbye. Elizabeth takes her journey step by step focusing on improving three main components in her life: pleasure, praying, and love. She improves them one at a time each in different locations: pleasure in Italy, praying in India, and love in Indonesia. By spending four months in each country, Elizabeth hopes to find herself through her primary claim, self-discovery.

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For the first four months, Elizabeth lives in Italy. As she settles in her new home, she tries to fight off depression from her divorce by eating and speaking a language she loves. She makes multiple friends that accept her for her and support her decision in running away from her busy life to relax in Italy. Elizabeth realizes in Italy that she only needs to please herself and with that she leaves Europe depression free and ready to pray. The next four months she spends in India, praying to her guru in an ashram. She practices endless hours of silent meditation attempting to find peace within her.

She discovers that God is within her heart and will always be there. This is her most important milestone step in her journey and also a secondary claim. Elizabeth then travels to Bali, Indonesia. Here she consults a medicine man and he helps her balance everything in her life. She then finds love with a man named Felipe. Together they love each other with such devotion that she cannot part with him. Through all her adventures in Indonesia, Italy and India, Elizabeth learned to balance enjoyment, divine transcendence and love. Rhetorical Analysis

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a memoir focusing on self-discovery. The author embarks on a journey to find enjoyment in Italy, prayer in India, and balance in Indonesia. This mimic journal goes into great detail of her journeys in each country. To keep the reader interested throughout the entire memoir, the author had to use unique writing skills. Elizabeth portrays herself as a helpless women searching for her true self and uses ethos and pathos, a unique organizing structure, and an upbeat tone to convey her message of self-discovery and to keep the reader entertained.

Elizabeth used ethos and pathos to connect with her reader’s emotions and to further emphasize her primary claim of self-discovery. In the memoir, spiritual healing plays a major role in her life. This could be a contradicting idea but she fully explained that she did not want her book to be biased to any religion. When referring to all forms of God’s she wrote, “I feel they are all equal because they are equally adequate and inadequate descriptions of the indescribable” (pg. 13). She plays with the reader’s ethos so that everyone can connect with her idea and not feel offended.

She also believes that religion is a necessity in self-discovery which can conflict or connect with many moral and ethnic beliefs of her audience. Along with ethos, Elizabeth used pathos so that her audience would feel sympathy. When she described her depression and loneliness, she used great detail about her massive sobbing tantrums and suicidal thoughts. She even personified depression and loneliness to make them appear real: “Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well. (pg. 47).

The reader begins to realize that depression and loneliness play a major role in her life and affect her greatly. Appealing to the reader’s emotions allows them to connect with Elizabeth and to better understand why she went on the journey to To help her readers better understand her primary and secondary claims, Elizabeth uniquely organized her memoir into four parts: the intro to her life, eat, pray, and love. In doing so each message in each part is easier to understand rather than having them all explained at once.

The audience can now see the gradual transition from enjoyment in Italy, to prayer in India, to love and balance in Indonesia. This structure also connects with the main claim of the story; such organization mirrors the fact that Elizabeth believes in a good base and structure to understand something which relates to self-discovery. She believes that to find yourself you need to start off strong and be organized so that you know what you want. In contrast of her strong self-discovering claim, Elizabeth uses an upbeat, chipper tone.

In doing so the reader is kept entertained even when she describes the darkest hours of her life. The tone implies that you have to stay strong and positive through everything if you want to be happy in life. It also shows that after Elizabeth’s wild journey around the world, she could write this memoir without any seriously negative feelings. Her advice and adventures truly helped her discover herself which in return made her genuinely happy. By using ethos and pathos Elizabeth connected with her reader’s beliefs and emotions and got her point across of discovering yourself.

Her organizing structure also proved that a strong base and organization can help one understand something, such as the memoir or even one’s direction in life. To add a more entertaining appeal to her memoir, Elizabeth used an upbeat, chipper tone that helped prove how her journey allowed her to be happy and true to herself. Reflection Elizabeth Gilbert used personal experience to validate her main claim. To validate the claim that self-discovery is the key to personal happiness and content, she went through a journey herself to achieve this goal.

Based on my understanding of the world, I do not agree with her claim because she does not use true facts, only personal experiences – not everyone is the same and therefore her theory may not work for everyone. Eat, Pray, Love is a book based off personal experiences not true facts. Her advice on how to discover your true self may not work for everyone because every person has different morals, emotions, standards, and etcetera. In her second story, Pray, Elizabeth wrote about her newly discovered spiritual insight and how it made her analyze her life in a whole new perspective.

Religion is very important to many people but there are so many different religions and beliefs that her own beliefs of cleansing the soul through meditation might not sit well with others and can therefore have no effect on them. With no hard facts to prove that religion can help you reveal your identity it was difficult to believe her. If she were to include real life examples, such as historical figures going through a religious break through then her ideas would seem more valid.

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