Eat, Pray, Love | Study Guide

Elizabeth Gilbert

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Eat, Pray, Love | Quotes


I don't want to be married anymore.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 1, Chapter 2

This realization by Elizabeth Gilbert is what begins the story behind Eat, Pray, Love. She doesn't want to be married and doesn't want children, but she knows that she doesn't know what she wants. So she sets off across the world to discover who she really is and what will make her feel whole.


I wanted to explore the art of pleasure ... the art of devotion ... the art of balancing the two.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 1, Chapter 9

Here, Gilbert identifies the threefold purpose of her year-long trip. She will seek to learn the meaning of pleasure in Italy, of devotion in India, and of sustainable balance in Bali.


But my one mighty travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 1, Chapter 13

In identifying her great "travel talent," Gilbert is also defining a central feature of her personality. Her warmth and curiosity about others and their life stories come across in her writing.


I'm choosing happiness over suffering.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 1, Chapter 28

This is what Gilbert thinks to herself as she receives the email from David agreeing with her suggestion that they end their relationship once and for all. The statement applies to more than this one decision she makes; in committing herself to her yearlong trip, she is actively trying to better her life.


The appreciation of pleasure can be an anchor of one's humanity.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 1, Chapter 36

This is the big lesson Gilbert takes away from her time in Italy. She has learned how to relax into pleasure, and she realizes how essential it is to one's well-being to always find beauty in life and enjoy it.


The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 2, Chapter 38

This is an excellent example of how Gilbert teaches readers about complex ideas using simple language. She seeks contentment and balance, and that is why she practices yoga.


You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.

Richard, Book 2, Chapter 48

Arguably the most important friend Gilbert meets on her travels, Richard offers her all sorts of earthy advice. Here he is telling her she needs to stop spending her time and energy wishing things with David would work out and open her mind and heart to more important matters.


Half the benefit of prayer is in ... the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 2, Chapter 58

This is a good example of one of Gilbert's new understandings as her spirituality develops in the Indian ashram. She realizes that if she isn't clear about what she needs and wants, she cannot continue to grow.


This search for divine bliss is the entire purpose of a human life.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 2, Chapter 66

Here Gilbert explains a complex yogic principle by stripping it down to a basic fact: people seek a state of bliss as part of their search for enlightenment.


You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 2, Chapter 70

Gilbert is not interested in judging anyone's religious pursuits, nor in pushing her beliefs on others. She only hopes that people are trying to be the best they can.


Dude—why is life all crazy like this?

Yudhi, Book 3, Chapter 83

Yudhi asks Gilbert this question after telling her the story of his life. It is a question that most people wish they could answer: why does life have to be so hard?


I have never felt less burdened by myself or by the world.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 3, Chapter 87

With this statement, Gilbert demonstrates that she is nearly completely healed and experiencing the balance that she has been seeking.


When you set out in the world to help yourself, you inevitably end up helping ... Tutti.

Bob, Book 3, Chapter 92

Gilbert's friend Bob writes this to her in response to her fundraising email. She had not noticed the meaning of Tutti's name until she reads his comment. In Italian tutti means "everybody." Gilbert implies that you help the whole world when you help yourself be a more content, balanced person.


If I am to truly become an autonomous woman, then I must take over that role of being my own guardian.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 3, Chapter 97

When Gilbert denies Felipe's request to become lovers, she is acting in a more responsible way than she has in the past. She is thinking of what is best for her at this point and looking out for herself as a guardian would.


I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Book 3, Chapter 108

In the final chapter of her memoir, Gilbert acknowledges her own initiative and effort in putting herself back together emotionally, and becoming a contented and balanced person. She is justifiably proud.

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