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How Elizabeth Gilbert Talks “Your Elusive Creative Genius”

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lorraine0711
Words 506
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How Elizabeth Gilbert talks “Your elusive creative genius”
The author of Eat, Pray, Love gives an incredibly inspiring description of creativity by employing various kinds of storytelling techniques. In order to illustrate her point on creativity that instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius, she gives four short anecdotes in her speech: two of herself and two of others.
She starts with the fact that her book Eat, Pray, Love has recently become so successful worldwide that people around her begin to treat her like she’s doomed. Then she brings out how uncomfortable she is with the assumption that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked and that artistry, in the end, will always ultimately lead to anguish. Therefore, Elizabeth points out the central question of her speech: how to create some sort of protective psychological construct to help the great minds live and to help herself continue writing. Next she talks about how ancient Greece and ancient Rome regarded creativity not as something born within certain human beings, but as some kind of elf who would come out and invisibly assist the artist with their work and would shape the outcome of that work. This is the Eureka moment for her seeking! Furthermore, to support her point, she gives 3 examples of how this thought can actually help improve the mental condition of writers during their creative process. Especially the one about the difficult situation she encountered when she was writing Eat, Pray, Love, and how she managed to overcome it by adopting this kind of thought.
When it comes to storytelling techniques, what Elizabeth employs the most during her speech is self-derision/self-disclosure. Her speech starts with the problem bothering her lately, extends with her seeking process for a solution and ends with her own little story of practicing her point to support the whole theoretical frame of the speech. It’s seemingly all about her, yet you can somehow imply yourself on her stories as well. In addition, she also uses lots of humor techniques in her speech, she makes the audience laugh several times.
As for the Aristotle’s approaches, Elizabeth uses the most “the pathos”. She mentioned in her speech plenty of time the words describing emotions such as anguish, uncomfortable, dangerous, odious, natural anxiety etc. She lets the listeners feel her feelings, her pain, her anxiety, her eagerness for solution as well as her passion for writing.
Speaking of speaking skills, Elizabeth uses a lot of space. During her whole speech, she keeps on walking back and forth on the stage. She has great eye contacts with the audience and appropriate body languages. She also changes her pace of words and her volume of voice now and then to let the listeners feel the ups and downs in her emotions.
Apply your emotions to your listeners. Only when you are emotionally connected with the audience, can you ultimately mentally communicate with them. This is what Elizabeth Gilbert teaches me in her speech.

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