Essay on Water for Elephants

Words: 1408
Pages: 6

Novel Study

Annotated Bibliography

Gruen, Sara. Water for Elephants. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2006.

The story follows Jacob Jankowski who was an old man living in a nursing home, as he looks back about a time that defined his life. In the 1930’s, 23-year-old Jacob’s life changed drastically. One minute he was finishing his Veterinarian degree at Cornell and planning to follow his father in the family business. The next his parents passed away in a car wreck, turning his world upside down. Jacob walked out of his final exams and hopped town, climbing on the first train he could. He quickly found out that it was no ordinary train. It belonged to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on
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August’s cruel message is clear that the circus is no place for independent passions.
Water – A symbol of purification, which is portrayed many times. Before Jacob jumps on the train the book states: “When I first submerged my feet into frigid water, they hurt so badly I yanked them out again. I persisted, dunking them for longer and longer periods, until the cold finally blistered."

▪ Train tracks – Are a symbol of choosing one's direction in life. For instance, the book states: "This is so odd...I'm running beside a moving train in the middle of nowhere".
Their Society and Culture: In Water for Elephants, the society and culture is pretty much exactly how it was in the 30’s. Because it was the time of the Great Depression, people did everything they could to make their lives happy.
Book Review: I personally loved everything about this book! Other readers may find themselves churning through this book at a quick pace, eager to see what lies ahead, and then slowing down as they realize the book is coming to and end. Or at least that’s what I was doing. Water for Elephants is a book that can be read over and over again, recommended and handed off between friends; it begs to be discussed and mulled over. With lines of startling beauty, haunting and graphic scenes and finely drawn characters