Wednesday, November 4, 2015
I've always looked at Liz Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love as a sort of self-help book, about a woman who changes her own life by traveling and finding herself in different places. When I read the book for the first time, I searched for sayings or insights into travel and life and its many meanings, and when I saw the movie, I was in it for the drama, Julia Roberts, the gorgeous scenery, and James Franco. This read through was different, because I was looking at it as a journey to find a place to belong, a home, and oneself. At the very end of the book, Liz uses the Italian word "Attraversiamo", which means let's cross over, as she and Felipe leap into the ocean Indonesia. This is a symbolic joining of the beginning of her journey in Italy, and the end, in Bali. However, I see this word as encompassing her entire journey and her idea of home. We recently read Salman Rushdie's East, West in which a character states that he refuses to choose between his two homes and that he chooses both instead. Like Rushdie's belief that he is a product of two homelands and that he shouldn't have to choose one over the other, Liz finds her home and a piece of herself in every place she visits. She is forever changed in Italy, she writes that she "exist(s) more than she did four months" before and that she gains hope and faith in the world (Gilbert 122). In India, she "chooses" her religion and finds her own inner spirituality and in Bali she finds love and completes her transformation. She "crosses over" all of her experiences and brings them all together to find herself and create her inner home, which means she can be home wherever she is in the world. This is shown when Felipe asks her to build a life in America, Australia, Bali, and Brazil. Liz doesn't think that it's crazy because she knows herself and by being herself she is home wherever she is. The world has become her home.