Literature Study GuidesEat Pray LoveBook 1 Chapters 22 24 Summary

Eat, Pray, Love | Study Guide

Elizabeth Gilbert

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Eat, Pray, Love | Book 1, Chapters 22–24 | Summary



Book 1, Chapter 22

Gilbert spends this chapter on honest observations about her apparent inability to be without a man, starting at about age 15. She now sees this as "something of a liability on my path to maturity." She is also aware that she does not seem to be able to set boundaries, viewing herself as a "permeable membrane." As she says, "If I love you, you can have everything." Yet she doesn't seem to choose well, experiencing "one catastrophe after another" when it comes to romance. Finally, as part of this confession, she admits she is still in love with David. All of this has led her to make the one-year vow of celibacy.

Gilbert then goes on to give a brief analysis of what she views as a shift in the general behavior of Italian men toward women since she was last in the country some 15 years before. Although she admits she is not now the sexy, 19-year-old she was then—when she was constantly harassed by men everywhere she went—she has noticed that "stalking, pestering behavior toward women is no longer acceptable."

Book 1, Chapter 23

Gilbert describes her fascination with Italian soccer fans by describing a game she goes to with Luca Spaghetti and giving some background. There are two Roman teams, Lazio and Roma. People in Rome usually hang out on Sundays only with those fans who cheer for the same team. Luca is a Lazio fan.

As Gilbert watches the game she learns "new and interesting words ... which they don't teach you in school"—strings of curse words from the rabid fans. Lazio loses this particular match, but when Luca and his friends go out afterwards, it is not to a bar. They go to a bakery and eat cream puffs to cheer themselves up.

Book 1, Chapter 24

Gilbert continues to work hard at Italian, studying every day. She works on idioms with Giovanni. She teaches him the English saying "I've been there." He teaches her the equivalent in Italian, which means something close to "I have experienced that on my own skin." But her favorite thing to say in Italian is just one word: Attraversiamo. It means "Let's cross over." The word is mostly used when people are deciding to cross a street.


Gilbert shares her close observations of people, things, and actions around her. Her excellent observational skills enable her to describe her experiences so well that readers really feel like they are there with her. Her particular, close attention to words enriches those descriptions. Sometimes the experiences she describes are sorrowful or deeply meaningful; sometimes they are comic, like the soccer game she describes. At other times they are part of lessons to be learned, like her theory that Italian men have changed over the past 15 years. As part of these "lessons," she often reminds readers of associated facts. In this case, Gilbert points out that feminism has become more prominent in Italy since it joined the European Union.

Gilbert uses words and sentences intentionally in her memoir, building foreshadowing because more times than not they will appear again in her memoir. A comment made in a seemingly offhanded way (for example, "I still happen to be in love with David.") reveals much about her state of mind.

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