December 13, 2010
A Woman’s Search for Everything
Have you ever wanted to put your life on pause and travel the world around the world for a year? Elizabeth Gilbert does just this in her New York Times Bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. Although I have never traveled the world, I once experienced my own escape from reality. During the summer before my junior year in high school, I quit everything to go live in Ocean City, New Jersey with my mom. I quit my travel basketball team, my high school basketball team, and my job. Many people viewed my decision as selfish and irresponsible. I believe some people need to spend time getting to know themselves before they can establish a relationship with other people and that’s what I was focused on doing. Gilbert shows how letting go of everything and starting over can have a very positive effect on one’s life.
Eat, Pray, Love is a spiritual memoir that takes the reader all around the world. Gilbert traveled to India, Italy, and Indonesia; spending four months in each country. At age 31 she experienced a treacherous divorce, which was followed by a love affair. She starts off her journey in the country of Italy. During her trip in Italy, she focuses on their culture’s food and embraces the delightfulness one can receive from food. While in Rome she meets a man named Luca Spaghetti who helps her learn how to relax and how to enjoy doing nothing. They become very close and share many meals together. The meal that seems to be the most significant to both of them is on Luca’s birthday. His birthday falls on America’s Thanksgiving Day and he wanted to experience the true, big, American roasted turkey. Although they never ended up successfully making the turkey, they enjoyed the time that they spent together. Gilbert’s next adventure proceeded to the country of India.
India is a country that highly practices meditation and contemplation. Gilbert refers to India as the City of self-reflection because she practices the trait self-restraint which can show how strong of a person one is. She wanted to further her knowledge on the form of prayer that different religions practice. The final part of the book takes place in Indonesia or as many like to call it the City of Love. Throughout the book, Gilbert tries to remain without love but an unexpected man comes into her life and everything seems to change from there.
Gilbert uses four very obvious criteria throughout her book, which are to eat, pray, love, and self-revelation. The pleasure of eating is recognized all over the world. From Italy’s homemade pizza to America’s juicy hamburgers, people use eating to gather together and indulge in delicious cuisine. Many TV shows, books, magazines, and articles talk about the enjoyment one receives from eating. The food network is a perfect example of a TV network that focuses solely on food and the pleasures one receives from it. Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives is a show on the food network where the host, Guy Fieri, travels around the United States to local diners and drive-ins to taste their most popular dishes. Each episode seems to have a theme that it sticks to such as burgers, fish, comfort food, hot dogs, or steak sandwiches. Guy Fieri always makes sure that he shows the viewers the great deal of enjoyment he is receiving from trying all the different foods.
While traveling throughout the country of Italy, Elizabeth Gilbert had the opportunity to taste many different types of cuisine in each city. By the end of her four-month travel in Italy, she gained 23 pounds; now that’s a lot of eating. Her meal that sounded the most appetizing was one that she experienced with her sister Catherine in Rome. They decided to have a picnic which consisted of two big softball-sized rolls of bread, spicy sausage, pickled sardines wrapped around meaty green olives, a mushroom pate that tasted like a forest, balls of smoked mozzarella, peppered and grilled...