Two Species One Life Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

Water for Elephants is a novel filled with eccentric characters that represent the many different themes that Sara Gruen artistically weaves throughout the story. The setting of a circus alone leads to an onslaught of radical themes, but once you dive into the characters, ones original idea of a spectacular show turns into something completely dynamic. Witnessing a man's love that is divided between two different people, that's complicated. Factor in an elephant named Rosie and the woman, Marlena, who so happens to married to the boss, well, that becomes a whole different twist. Not to mention the story is smack dab in the middle of the depression, leaving everyone feeling that they have ...view middle of the document...

After Rosie storms out of the big top, Marlena is left dangling from the top pole. At one point she is "breathing hard, with eyes closed and head down." (Gruen 165) Holding true to her desire to please, she performs an acrobatic sort of dismount and then "She looks at her feet, straightens up, and thrusts both arms into the air." (Gruen 165) It isn't until she is out of the tent and in Jacobs' clutch that she "Then lifts her head and wails." (Gruen 165) Rosie however, she proceeds to reward herself by helping herself to a neighborhood garden full of fresh vegetables, which is a luxury compared to what she normally receives. When Jacob arrives to retrieve her "Rosie pops the red globe in her mouth and smiles as she chews it." (Gruen 167)
The passion that consumes Marlena and Rosie does not go unnoticed. Marlena craftily displays hers when she is performing in the big top, while she leads her horses through a spectacular that has everyone captivated. Marlena softly bleeds her passion for animals every chance she gets. Marlena shows up to the train car with Queenie, Walter's beloved dog which he thought that he had lost, and informs them that "I saw her from the window and sent Auggie out." (Gruen 210). When she goes to leave Jacob stops her to tell her thank you and "You have no idea what this means to him. To us, really." (Gruen 211) She then looks at Jacob and over to her horses and says "Yes. Yes. I think I do." (Gruen 211) . Due to the lack of understanding between Rosie and August, she becomes stubborn by not taking command, but we witness her slightly give in when something tickles her fancy. In the garden when two men arrive, one to distract the frantic lady, the other holds a bucket, "She is rapt. Her truck hovers over its top, sniffing and trying to squirm it was around his arm to the clear liquid." (Gruen 168) Rosie allowed her passion for booze takeover and followed the bucket peacefully back to the menagerie.
While Marlena passions for animals is generally rewarded, Rosie passion leaves her with the hands of her confused, angry handler. Given the economical condition under which they are working, none of the animals receive the amount or quality of water that they require, so Rosie figures...

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