Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert follows up her best selling novel,
Eat Pray Love, with an interesting book that takes a look at the institution of marriage. Throughout the book, Liz talks with women within western civilization and women outside her own culture to discover their thoughts on marriage. Liz, who has already experienced a difficult divorce, is extremely skeptical about the idea of being married again and is left with no other option when the man she loves is about to be deported. She must come to terms with marriage or be separated from him.

Committed was an interesting book for me to read. Having read Eat Pray Love, which read much more like a piece of fiction, I found that Committed was a rather difficult read. While there were many good pieces of information about marriage, I found that Elizabeth tended to lose me in her extreme thought processes. It seems that for Elizabeth, in order for her to go ahead with any decision, she must have it completely resolved in her mind. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it was rather frustrating to follow those thoughts within her book. Many times I wanted to say, "Liz, just jump in with both feet and stop talking."

While I appreciated some of the questions that Elizabeth asked about marriage, it was very hard for me to come to terms with many of her conclusions. Throughout most of the book, it seems that she is merely giving her own opinion about marriage and fails to look at it from all angles. She spends much of her time trying to convince others that marriage, within western culture, is demeaning towards women and suppresses their individuality but she does not take into account or mention those women who willingly choose to be married and have a family. Because these women have willingly chosen marriage for themselves, marriage in turn becomes a part of their individuality. Also, it seems that even some of the historical information that Elizabeth used to back up her beliefs were somewhat skewed by her opinions. She seemed to make the facts fit in where she needed them regardless of how she had to bend or misshape them.

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