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Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love Essay

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Frankfurt explains that what is essential to the self are the desires and cares that the self identifies with. In order for a self to transform then it must change its desires or cares therefore self transformation is possible through the modification of which it desires or cares for. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, claims to have transformed herself throughout the three years that the novel takes place, but did she actually transform herself?
Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut July 18th, 1969, and grew up on a small farm. She graduated from New york University and graduated with bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She migrated to New York City and began to work as a journalist for Spin, GQ, and New York Times Magazine. Her deteriorating marriage to an ideal American husband formed the beginnings of what would become the travels of her novel, Eat, Pray, Love.
Gilbert had found herself stricken with panic as she evaluated her life while in her early thirties. What she had cared about was not necessarily the things she wanted to care about (which Frankfurt calls “second-order volitions) but were the things American society had made her care about. For example, her ex-husband, or the big home that they bought or even the career she had as a magazine writer. I cannot say that she was not her true self during this time because these all could have been things which at one point she had desired for to be in her life but it is evident that who she is in the beginning of the novel is not exactly the same person at the end of the novel. While going through the nasty divorce procedures, Gilbert starts to find her inner self in a situation that is almost like “trial by fire.) During this time, which she c...


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...rder desire because it means that she will never have a permanent home, but will have four temporary homes, and a home is something that most people will find defines who they are, which is something Gilbert had expressed displeasure with when arguing with her ex-husband.
The way one adapts to the external change is by changing their first-order desires and second-order volitions. Her first-order desires and second-order volitions had changed significantly enough so that it was possible for her to have undergone self-transformation. According to Frankfurt, Gilbert had undergone self-transformation because she was able modify her first-order desires and second-order volitions to adapt with the external change in her life. Those changes in first-order desires and second-order volitions had founded the basis of the self-transformation that Elizabeth Gilbert undergone.



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