Fiqws Paper

2326 words - 10 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

She had also begun taking Italian classes, which was a language she had always found herself drawn towards, in hopes of actually learning the language instead of putting it off for another time. It is during this time that she had the crucial turning point in her life. The magazine she worked for required her to go to Bali to write a story about Yoga vacations. She found herself talking to a ninth-generation medicine man who told her that he sensed that she would later on come back to Bali to stay for three or four months. This job assignment had inspired her to finally let go of her past life in the “Dark Ages” and try to move on so she planned a year long trip to Italy, India, and Indonesia. According to Frankfurt’s theory, she had somewhat begun to change because she had altered her desires and cares. However, this begs the question of whether or not just changing one desire or one care is enough to transform oneself.
In Italy, she begun to indulge in the physical pleasures of life (except for sex of which she had vowed to remain celibate during this year of travels). She had begun to gain some weight back of which she had lost due to the stress caused by the divorce proceedings. In Italy, she had started to shed some of the things that were causing her unhappiness. Her enrollment in an Italian language school also forced her to get out of her comfort zone and make friends (however later on she notes that it is in her nature to be talkative so making friends isn’t necessarily hard for her). Getting out of ones comfort zone is a good way to grow as a person because it offers different perspectives on things which may change ones first order desires and second order volitions. Gilbert was beginning to change her desires as they started to shift away from wanting her on and off again lover to want her, to wanting to enjoy her life currently surrounding her in Italy. Gilbert had left Italy an overall happier person. If she had entered Italy a depressed woman but left a happier woman, then obviously some change must have occurred. According to Frankfurt, it must have been either one of her first order desires or her desire to desire something in particular.
Just months before, she was in New York City constantly stressed out with her life. Many times fighting with her lover David and therefore was the cause of her own suffering. By the time she had reached India, she had begun to exude a calmness unprecedented in her life. Being stressed and being calm are opposite emotions; stress and panic go hand in hand while calmness and peace share the same emotion. It was during her time in India in which I believe she had undergone the drastic part of her transformation. Instead of looking externally for worldy pleasures as she had done in Italy, she had begun searching within herself for her happiness. This means she had once again changed her first order desires and appears to have been significantly. A shift in the overall nature of ones life is...

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