August Rosenbluth: an awefully wonderfull jerk
Being a Paragon Schizophrenic, it should come as no surprise, that the character August Rosenbluth in Sara Gruen's novel "Water for Elephants" is an unpredictably round character. He portrays the full gammut of emotions, moods and character traits throughout the story, making it hard, at least in the beginning for Jacob to know how he feels about him.
More than once, August puts Joacobs life in danger. Wether it is forcing him to feed a toothless Lion as a prank or to walk across the roof of the train August shows very poor judgement when it comes to the safety of Jacob and his other workers. When he needs to, he can be the most generous person in the whole circus, temporariyly fooling Jacob into believing that he good person deep down: "August is gracious, charming and mischevious- so much so that as the evening wears on I begin to think the incident with Rex was just a joke gone awry."(P.93)
As the story progresses and Jacob learns both first hand and from people like Joe the true nature of Mr. Rosenbluth, that "he's a funny one, and [..] not funny ha-ha. He doesnt like [any] one questioning his authority. And he has his moments [...]."(p.87). Whether he is clothing, wining and dining his "best friend" or presenting him with a gold pocket watch (p. 233) Jacob, having very different values sees right past August's fake genourosity. He is an opportunist with very little moral fiber. Ironically, August is the equestrian director but has very little love and respect for animals, much like Al and much to the disgust of Jacob. For financial reasons he neglects the needs of his animals when the benzini brothers are trying to pick up new acts and he is incredibly rough on Rosie, the "pride" of the Benzini Brothers circus. More than once August takes out is uncontrolable rage on the poor Pachyerm, not understanding that it is an animal away from its habitat and will naturally act out of line from time to time,...
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