Small Group Study Questions for Eat, Pray, Love

by Nynke Passi

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Elizabeth Gilbert’s Rome apt.

Here the questions we examined on Friday afternoon. We’ll keep discussing on Monday.

1) Find a few places in the “Italy” section of Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert handles time shifts–a flash back to an earlier time or memory (something that preceded the action and gives insight into the present), or a flash forward or skip in time. What devices doe she use (white space, verb tense shifts, exposition)?

2) Find a few places where Elizabeth Gilbert handles scene shifts or shifts in location/place. How does she set you up for that and avoid getting her reader confused? What devices does she use?

3) Find a few strong and brief character descriptions in “Italy” or another part of Eat, Pray, Love.

4) Find a few strong and brief setting descriptions in “Italy” or another part of Eat, Pray, Love.

5) Find a few places where Elizabeth Gilbert uses particularly vivid and evocative descriptive language.

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Pizzeria da Michele – Naples, Italy. EG calls it “The holy of holies”

6) Find a few places where Elizabeth Gilbert uses particularly startling or effective figurative language (metaphors, similes). What is the effect?

7) Who is your favorite character in Eat, Pray, Love and why?

8) Find a place where the dialogue is particularly rich and engaging. Is there subtext? Why did you like this portion of the dialogue?

9) What plot arch do you find in book 1 of Eat, Pray, Love (“Italy”)? What elements of plot can you trace? Does the plot arch satisfy? Why or why not?

10) How do you respond to Elizabeth Gilbert’s narrative voice? Do you resonate it or not, and why? Do you think she is a reliable narrator? Is there anything you observe about her that she does not tell you?

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Gelateria San Crispino – Via Acaia 56, San Giovanni

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