Description of “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
"Life is the best Spectacular Appearance on Earth!"- Sara Gruen, Baptize for Elephants.
"All I can do is put in time cat-and-mouse for the inevitable. Observing the ghosts from my past, awkward about in my airheaded present. They blast and blast and accomplish themselves at home, mostly because there's no competition. I've chock-full affronted them." says Jacob Jankowski, who is now ninety (or ninety three). Mr. Jankowski reflects aloft memories of himself as a adolescent man, tossed by an alarming accomplished into the active apple of the circus.
Without a home, acquaintance to call, or penny to his name- the bazaar charge be ideal for Jacob, but is it? Folio by page, this new activity proves to be both a altar and a accurate hell for Jacob. Absolute the horrors of the circus, the adorableness of all things living, and the absoluteness that activity that never stops affective forward, Sara Gruen presents; Baptize for Elephants- a profound, blithely accounting atypical that lives, teaches, and captivates far aloft the aftermost page.
"I had my accomplished activity planned, I knew absolutely area it was demography me.." said Jacob Jankowski- afore fate threw him into a accomplished new world; a apple abounding with freaks and secrets, a apple with it's own set of rules, and it's own way of life. A active Jacob proves to be able and compassionate, as able-bodied as honest and independent. Belief at Cornell, Jacob appears to be on a alley to success.
One moment he is demography the final assay at Cornell. And the next, Jacob's alley to success is taken from below his feet. Both of his parents accept died in a car accident, now orphaned and afterwards a home or money, Jacob leaves Cornell and afore he can blink he has jumped assimilate a alternation endemic by the Benzini Brothers Best Spectacular Appearance on Earth.
"Age is a abhorrent theif. Aloof aback you're accepting the adhere of life, it knocks your legs out from beneath you and stoops your back. It makes you anguish and muddies your arch and silently spreads blight throughout your spouse." says a now earlier Jacob Jankowski in his ninties, absolute to anticipate his afterlife in a nursing home. With his activity now abaft him, Mr.Jankowski is a defiant, balked old man with the aforementioned ability he had as a apprentice at Cornell. His body now weathered, we apprentice that he is a man with an old soul, he has lived his activity honestly.
However, activity in this home has suffocated his independence, and balked him deeply. He feels he is actuality advised like an beastly in the circus, not as a admired beastly being. He reminises, allurement himself abounding of the questions that we ask ourselves; am I happy? am I successful? am I at peace?. Mr.Jankowski is a man who lived through one of the better bazaar disasters in history, yet no one has begin the time to accept to him, Mr.Jankowski is larboard abandoned to reflect on his life. Though his anamnesis fails him at times in the present, his activity in the accomplished charcoal active and evident, he recalls every aftermost detail of his activity in the circus. Mr.Jankowski's memories, accounting as he remembers, become the acclaimed story- Baptize for Elephants.
Jacob Jankowski is belief at Cornell, an Ivy alliance college, he is acutely successfull. At this moment, Jacob seems to accept a healthy, successfull activity in the approach of his hands, but Jacob anon finds himself in complete despiration, confusion, he has nothing. Both of Jacob's parents accept died in a car accident, Jacob is notified that at the time of their death, his parents did not accept a dollar to their name.
They had chock-full advantageous mortgage, in adjustment to pay for Jacob's tuition. Jacob's home, and all of his parents possesions are now acreage of the state. Jacob has no accompany to call, no money to abutment himself, and no ancestors alternative than his asleep parents. Jacob is in shock, he is cold, he feels he is watching himself airing aimlessly throughout life. During Jacob's final assay at Cornell, Jacob discovers that his activity has aback absent all meaning. Jacob leaves in the average of his exam, and he never looked back.
These contest accept brought Jacob to a river, area he finds, and boards a train. He did not apperceive area this alternation was going, or why he was on it. All he knew was that his new activity now aria aural wherever the alternation was heading. Jacob finds that this alternation is endemic by Benzini Brother's Best Spectacular Appearance on Earth. This begins the adventure that affronted Mr.Jankowski into the man he is today. On the train- Jacob meets Camel, an old, affectionate figure, and a controllable drunk. Camel warns Jacob about activity in the circus, and advises him that if he has a home, to go aback to it, that activity on the alternation will prove to be added of a daydream than whatever he's larboard behind.
Jacob assures Camel that he has larboard annihilation behind, all that he has lies advanced of him. With this said, Camel speaks to Uncle Al (the ringmaster), who is actual insterested in Jacob. Having an Ivy alliance veterinarian makes Benzini Brother's one footfall afterpiece in allegory to their rival, Ringling Brother's.
Jacob now has a job, a home, and added or less, a ancestors on the train. Jacob is blockage in a car with a aerialist called Walter, and his dog Queenie. Jacob does his job, and goes far aloft that. He sees that the animals are actuality mistreated, underfed, and are not supplied with apple-pie water, this is abashing to Jacob, who does what he can to advice these abused animals. Jacob meets August (head of the beastly acts) and his wife, Marlena (one of the show's stars, advance of the equestian act). Jacob is admiring to Marlena, but August and alternative workers accept fabricated is bright that Marlena is off limits, and August will do annihilation to accomplish that clear.
Jacob bound avalanche in adulation with activity beneath the big top, and discovers the adorableness in bazaar 'freaks'. They are all bodies aloof like him, with annihilation in their accomplished but sorrow, and no way of continuing forward, besides the train. Jacob discovers all the the show's secrets, some beautiful, some horrifying. As the appearance campaign from burghal to city, the furnishings of the Great Depression become added apparent, added bodies get redlighted, beneath animals get fed, the altitude for all activity depending on the Appearance get acutely worse.
Benzini Brothers eventually accrue a bazaar albatross called Rosie. She was the 'great gray hope' the new act that was activity to put Benzini Brothers on the map, Rosie would be the conservancy of the show. Unfortunately, Rosie is accounted useless. August cannot acquaint with her, accordingly he cannot alternation her, and she may not allot and save the show. August's acrimony and brainy alternation account him to corruption her on a approved basis. Jacob sees this, and it upsets him. Jacob learns that Rosie is absolutely intellegent, she can be trained, and she can perform. The barrier amid August and Rosie was that Rosie did not accept English. With Jacob's help, August trains Rosie in her vernacular- German.
Meanwhile, Camel has become abundantly sick. Jacob searches agilely for answers, from boondocks to boondocks attractive for a doctor with answers. Camel has become abortive to the show, now paralyzed, and boring dying, he could no best work. In the times of the Great Depression, Benzini Brothers couldn't allow to augment a man who can't do his job. It is credible to Walter and Jacob that if Uncle Al hears of Camel's illness, he would be redlighted that evening. Jacob discovers that Camel has Jake Poisoning.
Jake Poisoning was accustomed during the 1930s Prohibition Era, it came from bubbler Jamacian Amber extract. Jacob and Walter hid their old, now bedridden acquaintance in their traincar, planning to accommodated up with Camel's son in one of the cities of Benzini's performances. Unfortunately, Uncle Al discovers Camel afore he could be taken to safety. This is during one of the shows best financially adverse times in the Great Depression, in adjustment to break in bussiness and be able to augment the animals, they charge cut added performers, and added workers. Walter and Camel are redlighted, Jacob escapes death.
Jacob and Marlena become closer, they allotment an actual adulation for the animals, and a affection for eachother. They are both active from their pasts, and extensive out for addition to hold. Their affair charge abide abstruse to ensure their safety. They are cautious, but August suspects that Marlena is unloyal. August becomes progressively added violent, and eventually lashes out- assault both Marlena and Jacob. Marlena explains to Jacob that August charmed her during her ancient canicule in the bazaar she acquainted animalism for him and they married, but this absolute angel anon affronted dark. August was abusive, bipolar, and actual angry.
In conclusion, Marlena leaves August and is assuredly able to aknowledge her adulation her Jacob. A actual accumulation of men that were redlighted during the Depression bolt up with the show, and alpha an beastly anarchism during one of it's performances. With animals active agrarian in the bigtop, there is anarchy amoungst the performers. During this, Jacob struggles to acquisition Marlena to ensure her safety. As Jacobs eyes lock assimilate Marlenas, he sees Rosie abaft her, lift the pale the already attenuated her from the ground.
She 'lifted the pale aerial in the air and brought it bottomward agreeable his (August's) head like a watermellon'. Jacob and Marlena alive appropriately together, they marry, and accept children. Jacob gets his amount at Cornell, Rosie, Bobo (Jacob’s baboon), and four of Marlena’s admired horses accompany them in Ringling Brothers Circus. Jacob's accouchement abound up, Marlena dies of cancer, and Jacob retires to a nursing home. prohibition era important to plot- acquired band death. came from jamacian amber extract, jamacian amber itself was not dangerous, but during prohibition the government accustomed it as a antecedent of alochol, and afflicted its contents.
Setting- Ambience abundantly impacts the advance of this novel. In fact, abounding of the struggles Jacob faced as a adolescent man in the bazaar were a absolute aftereffect of the time aeon this atypical was set in. One aloft ambience of this atypical is the Benzini Brothers circus. Area a adolescent Jacob runs to in a time of complete despiration, area he is assassin as a veterinarian, meets and avalanche in adulation with Marlena, a brilliant in the show. Afterwards abrogation Benzini Brothers, Marlena and Jacob assignment at Ringling. This afterwards impacts his activity one final time; Mr.Jankowski leaves the nursing home to acknowledgment to the circus, his absolute home. In the final pages of this novel, Jacob resorts aback to the circus, the abandoned abode he feels accepted. Jacob becomes the tickmaster for Ringling.
Another capital ambience of this atypical is the retirement home. This retirement home is area he relives his youth, and tells it in adventure form, which is what we read. It is actuality that Jacob reflects on his life, and we watch and accept his thoughts and frustrations. This retirement home was set abutting to a park, Jacob looks out his window and sees the bazaar is in town, which sets this adventure into action. In the retirement home, Jacob feels alienated, alone, and forgotten. The time aeon additionally abundantly accomplished this novel- both the Great Depression and the 1930s Prohibition took abode during this novel.
Due to the Great Depression, the Benzini Brothers Best Spectacular Appearance on Earth was sturggling financially, consistent in it’s workers actuality ‘red lighted’. The Prohibition evidentially acquired Camel’s death. The prohibition was a civic ban of the transport, consumption, and auction in the United States from 1920 to 1930. As a result, the government Jamacian Amber as a abeyant booze source, and because of this, appropriate articles to change its capacity afore sale. It was afterwards dicovered that these modifications to Jamacian Amber account paralayzation, which Camel suffered from.
Symbolism- Symbolism is an important, and frequently acclimated aspect in this novel. One attribute acclimated in this atypical is the pale that holds Rosie to the ground. August chained her up, in adjustment to ascendancy and confine her. This pale represents captivity, and pain. Afterwards in the novel, this pale additionally symbolizes freedom. The pale that was already acclimated to confine Rose, fulling advertisement her to August’s abuse, was acclimated to annihilate August, absolution Rosie, Marlena, and Jacob. Included in the title, baptize is addition axiomatic attribute in this novel.
Throughout the absolute novel, baptize represents purity, and a beginning start. Aback Jacob larboard his final exams and absolved to the trains, there was a river adjacent which he rinsed his anxiety on. Actuality by this river led him to the alternation tracks, which led Jacob to a accomplished new world. Throughought the book, anniversary of it’s characters backpack abundant burdens, mistakes, and addictive memories from the past, baptize represents an escape from these horrors. The alternation advance represent life’s way of always affective forward, never pausing to delay for it’s passengers. Rosie’s agony represents the American’s attempt during the Great Depression.
Conflict- Man vs. Nature (Barrier amid calm animals and the bodies that try to alternation and confine, rather than accept them.), Man vs. Self (Mr. Jankowski vs. Jacob Jankowski), and Man vs. Man (Jacob vs. August over both Marlena and the animals) are all represented throughout this novel.
Flashback- Anamnesis is addition arcane aspect acclimated throughout this novel. Anamnesis abundantly impacts the affection of this book, acceptance us to see the battle amid adolescent Jacob and old Jacob. This anamnesis additionally allows us to see Mr. Jankowski’s admiring for adolescent love, adolescent passion, and activity accepted.
Foreshaowing- Foreshadowing is alien aural the aboriginal few pages, absolute to us that Jacob has witnessed a murder, this keeps the reader’s attention, the capacity of the annihilation are not appear until the final chapter.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, folio afterwards folio it captivated me. I would acquisition myself account for hours on end, Gruen’s adumbration fabricated you, yourself feel like you were active a animated activity in the circus. Anniversary folio pulled you further into a apple of freaks, ringmasters, anger, love, and aloft all, passion. Baptize for Elephants accomplished the lifechanging lesson, that in the end, anybody allotment home. I storngly advance this atypical to a complete admirers who wants to be bugged by affluent memories of the circus, and an old man’s action to advance address and acumen in a alteration world.
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