HomeLiterature Study GuidesEat Pray LoveBook 2 Chapters 58 60 Summary

Eat, Pray, Love | Study Guide

Elizabeth Gilbert

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Eat, Pray, Love | Book 2, Chapters 58–60 | Summary

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Summary

Book 2, Chapter 58

In this chapter Gilbert gives her ideas about prayer, destiny, and the ability to control one's thoughts. This last idea, proposed to her by Richard, seems radical to her. As he says, "if you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

Gilbert has begun putting her ideas in practice. She prays for specific things and she takes responsibility for the things about her fate that she can control. She is vigilant about negative thoughts, hunting them down and eliminating them.

Book 2, Chapter 59

One of Gilbert's friends at the ashram is a 17-year-old Indian girl she scrubs floors with. Her name is Tulsi, and Gilbert finds her both adorable and admirable. Tulsi is devout in her belief but rebellious when it comes to the expected path of a girl her age. She does not want to get married at 18, as is the custom; she wants to see the world.

Book 2, Chapter 60

Gilbert discusses the issue of marriage one day with friends at the ashram, particularly how to gracefully deal with the end of a marriage. Her newest friend, a poet/plumber from New Zealand, thinks longer marriages are harder to end, which makes Gilbert feel better about her lingering feelings. Other friends are not so easy on her; they want her to let go and move on.

Later that day, the poet/plumber tells her to meet him after dinner so he can show her something. He takes her to the top of a tower, "the tallest place in the Ashram, with a view overlooking the entirety of this river valley in India." He leaves her there with a folded piece of paper and a flashlight "for getting down safely when it's over."

When she unfolds the paper, Gilbert finds a numbered list titled "INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM." As she reads them, she realizes they are the plumber's advice for finally letting go of her marriage. She laughs with pure joy after reading the instructions, and then she follows them as the sun goes down. Sometime later she has a vision of her and her ex-husband on that rooftop together, speaking lovingly to each other, letting each other go. Gilbert celebrates by doing a handstand on the rooftop, feeling her sure "strength and balance."

Analysis

Gilbert's new practice of ridding herself of negative thoughts is fittingly couched in these words (and a corresponding image of a safe harbor): "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts." When she is at peace, she always refers to water imagery, and the peaceful harbor she imagines cannot have any rogue ships filled with negativity. She develops the harbor an extended metaphor for her mind.

She also uses the recurrent image of the color blue in her description of the vision she has of the reconciliation between her and her ex-husband. She describes them as "cool blue souls." Previously, in Chapter 46, where she explained kundalini shakti, Gilbert described the yogic experience of the ultimate union with God as "a small, cool, blue pearl of light."

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