Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love tells the story of Elizabeth’s journey across the world to find balance in her life. I understood this nonfiction as a great adventure tale as well as a self-help book. Obviously not everyone is going drop everything and everyone in their life travel for a year, but everyone goes through the same basic problems. Everyone struggles with their health and body image, spirituality, and relationships. Elizabeth’s struggle to find balance and love in her life is extremely relatable to the reader, and that is a major reason why the book is so funny. Gilbert’s anxiety, constant whining and uncertainty made me think of the days when I was choosing a major. I could not decide on a major for my life. I remember people asking me the same questions; What kind of person are you? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What makes you happy? I obviously did not know the answer to any of them. Since I could not decide on a major that was my passion, like music or writing, I decided to pick something I was good at; Accounting. Who knows, maybe I will come out with my own Eat Pray Love after my nervous breakdown in the bathroom in some accounting firm I’ll be working for.
I see Elizabeth as the hero in her own story. She is stuck in a tragic life, moves away and overcomes obstacles, and finally learns something about herself. I find humor in the story because most people around are so much better than her at what she is trying to accomplish. I thought the Italians were hilarious because they were so laid back and cracked jokes, while Elizabeth was wound a little tight. I personally found Luca spaghetti and the “art of doing nothing” to be hilarious (61-62). Luca is funny because everyone may know someone like him, and he is such a foreign character to Elizabeth. (I also found the miller light and break joke to be funny). Richard is another good example of someone who is simply better at Elizabeth. Richard seems to be very wise and laid back while Elizabeth is struggling with her meditations, and he eventually helps her to find peace. Richard often puts down Elizabeth for being stressed out and fixated on her past. This may be the superiority theory in action, even though he is just trying to help her.
I found Eat Pray Love to be a very insightful book, and I thought it was very interesting. It is very
Relatable to the reader, because Gilbert is addressing humanity’s most common problems. However I think it would be extremely funny if Madea were to meet Elizabeth Gilbert in the midst of her crisis.