Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants

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It is common fact that the human mind is the world’s most complex object. With its ability to create a person with several personalities, it is truly amazing how one thing can set us all apart… make us all so unique. As such in reality, complex personalities are necessary for the development of unique characters in the fictional realm. They serve as a backbone for the most amazing stories. Stories that leave the reader or the viewer feeling an intense emotion towards its characters, whether it be love or hatred. It is the use of such rich personalities that authors can pose a lesson or a theme to their audiences. Sometimes however, some writers fail to create such wholesome characters. By turning the book, “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen,…show more content…
Through the usage of the nursing home scenes, Sara Gruen allows the reader to truly understand how much the circus effected Jacob Jankowski’s life and emotions. For example, when McGuinty lied that he used to carry water for the circus elephants, Jacob responds by saying, “For decades I’ve heard old coots like you talk about carrying water for elephants and I’m telling you now, it never happened.”(Gruen 10). This statement depicts Jacob’s intense love for the circus and his anger when protecting it from lies. In addition, the nursing home scenes give Jacob the time needed to ponder about his life so readers can witness his real character. One can definitely see his anxious enthusiasm for his trip to the Spec as well as his disappointment when his family doesn’t show up and…show more content…
His constant mood changes define his character but can only be seen through the book. The combining of the personalities of unpredictable August and menacing Uncle Al into one, made it seem that August’s character was purely evil. However, readers of the book feel a sense of pity for his unstable mind, despite his abhorred actions. Even though August did hit Marlena, one can see “… he loves her more than life itself.”(Gruen 263). Such a sense of pity was missing from the film, for it seemed as though August did not care much for his wife. He even went to the extent of trying to murder her during the stampede. In addition, the novel relates the situation of August’s paranoid schizophrenia which meant that at one moment, he was charismatic and the next, he was downright evil. This leads to many people being deceived by his false charms, except for Jacob, who did not “…believe for a second that this is the real August and the other, an aberration. And yet… [he could]… see how they might be fooled.”(Gruen 229). Truly, such deception caused suspense in the plot, which was missing from the film. Moreover, the deletion of Uncle Al’s character meant the movie lost its ability to depict the other horrors of circus life, besides animal abuse and red lighting. Without Uncle Al, movie-goers cannot witness the cruelty circus-owners

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