In Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, is the man that she ends up falling in love with Brazilian or Australian?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For Gilbert, the love at the end of her journey is Felipe.  He is Brazilian.  Being one of the "ex- pats" who have settled in Bali, he comes from Brazil.  Felipe's nationality is secondary for a couple of reasons.  The first is that Bali is depicted as a realm where so many from different arenas have entered to find some level of peace in a world where it has eluded them.  Their nationality prior to their entry to Bali is almost a prelude to what Bali offers them.  For example, Gilbert is American, Felipe Brazilian.  Yet, both of them have wound up in Bali for different reasons.  Their pasts become prologue, and nationality is still there, but it is merged in this condition of what Bali provides.  Another reason why nationality is a secondary issue is that Elizabeth herself has become fundamentally different in terms of how she views such issues.  The centered state of being that she finds herself at when she meets Felipe is one in which national identity is relevant, but it is not as important as her state of being and the focus on emotional notions of the good.  This is something that Elizabeth has come to understand as a course of her journey.  It is within this point that she is able to understand Felipe's nationality as being from Brazil in a context that makes sense to her and her own journey of self- awareness and reclamation of her identity.


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