The novel, Water For Elephants, written by Sara Gruen and directed by Francis Lawrence, tells the story of a man named Jacob Jancowski, played by Robert Patterson, who starts off as a Cornell University veterinary student and ends as a tired, old, former circus member.
A variety of vital themes that were portrayed throughout the novel were incorporated in the movie in both different and similar ways.
The circus is a big deal to Jacob Jancowski. It’s where he regained control of his life after his parents died. It’s where he fell in love with an elephant named Rosie, who went on to become his personal pet. And it’s also where he met the love of life, Marlena. For much of Water for ...view middle of the document...
However, when viewing Jacob in the book, one pities the struggle he lives through, having no family or excitement in his life anymore. In the movie, one does not fully get to see that side of Jacob, which consuses the viewers understanding of his reasoning for his need to escape the nursing home to go to the circus in the first place.
In the beginning of the novel, Jacob is introduced as an inexperienced virgin, insecure about his lack of knowledge in the sex department. Jacob later has a sexual experience with Marlena that shifts him from an innocent boy to a full fledge man. What's so great about the way sex is portrayed in the novel is that we see it from all angles: through the lens of an innocent boy, a masculine guy in his sexual prime, and an old man looking back on his sexual adventures, pining for his youth, yet at the same time comparing them to fresh fruit. In the movie, sex is something that had no impact on anyone. Theres no escalation of emotions throughout the movie and it is not a prominent theme at all, besibes for the strip dancer, Barbara, who was also willing to exchange personal favors for money.
The circus business, in both forms of art, is built on admiration. People line up to watch the miraculous show, gaze at the circus performers and ponder how a man is capable to balance on a thin string way up in the sky. The circus is all about superlatives and extremes. The more outrageous the acts are, the more people applaud More cheering, more adulation. Marlena spreads her arms in the air, turning to give each section of the audience a chance to adore her. Then she turns to Midnight and perches delicately on his lowered back. He rises, arches his neck, and carries Marlena from the big top. (15.37). The audience has no idea what goes on behind the scenes and sometimes it seems like they don't want to. Even when characters know how desolate and dark circus life can be, it still exerts a powerful spell on them. The novel potrays these aspects ver well, however the movie lacks the remarkable glamour described in te novel and instead focuses more on the dark side of the circus rather the dazzling admirable side.
You might say that every act in this book is one of courage. It takes courage to join the circus, to fall in love, to stand up for what you believe in, for what you know to be morally right. It takes courage to commit murder, and it takes courage to walk away from it. Both the novel and the movie portray most of these acts as stupidity and self endangerement, however, the novel does express Jacob thinking of himself as being brave for certain actions that he takes that are not seen in the movie "I'm not going to sit here and listen to you tell me that it's okay for August to hit her because she's his wife. Or that it's not his fault because he's insane. If he's insane, that's all the more reason she should stay away." (20.81)
There are all kinds of ways of being trapped; it's not always physical. Characters can be...