Course Hero. "Eat, Pray, Love Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Sep. 2017. Web. 20 June 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Eat-Pray-Love/>.
Course Hero. (2017, September 20). Eat, Pray, Love Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 20, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Eat-Pray-Love/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Eat, Pray, Love Study Guide." September 20, 2017. Accessed June 20, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Eat-Pray-Love/.
Course Hero, "Eat, Pray, Love Study Guide," September 20, 2017, accessed June 20, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Eat-Pray-Love/.
This is the day Richard flies home to Texas. Gilbert rides to the airport with him. She is filled with gratitude for him, expressing it in a sardonic way: "I think of you as an angel with hairy hands and cruddy toenails." His last bits of advice to her include leaving her misery behind her and finding a new person to love.
In the taxi on the way home from the airport, Gilbert decides she'll try something new at the ashram: silence. Without even noticing, she has created "a cocktail-party-like vibe" around her, and she thinks it might be getting in the way of her continued spiritual development. Her plan is to have the rest of her stay be "a completely quiet experience."
The next morning as she scrubs floors in silence, Gilbert is approached by a boy sent from the administrative offices of the ashram sent to fetch her. There she is told she has a new work position—Key Hostess.
The friendship between Richard and Gilbert is mutually fulfilling and strong. Their joking around with each other while saying farewell helps them cope with the sadness of parting, but it is clear these two will remain in touch.
Gilbert's decision to be in silence for the rest of her time at the ashram shows her usual level of self-awareness: "To be honest, I've been talking too much my whole life." But some of her thinking only reconfirms how much she likes to be the center of attention. She imagines people asking, "Who is That Quiet Girl in the Back of the Temple? ... She's so elusive. She's so mystical." Somehow, her silence seems like another attempt to prove she's the best at whatever she does. So it might not come as too much of a surprise that the "powers that be" do not allow her to go through with her self-serving plan. Gilbert's inclusion of this episode when her plans fall through is purposely funny at the same time that it pokes a hole in her lofty dreams. Once again Gilbert displays a deft hand at self-critique, continuing to endear herself to her readers.