I’m going to attempt to compare Jacob and August, two similar, but how different of figures from Sara Gruen’s book, named Water for elephants.
Both Jacob and August care for the circus animals. They both exist only because of them. Without animals, there would be no circus. “We are what we are because of it”, says August (Gruen 119).
But they care in a very different way. Jacob truly loves his animals. He is “their shepherd, their protector” (Gruen 146). He spends time cuddling the chimp (Gruen 146), helps out Kinko’s dog Queenie (Gruen 121), takes a bottle of whiskey (Gruen 226) to the beat-up Rosie, the elephant, knowing it would give her the utmost pleasure and ease the pain from the beating she got from August. Jacob feels a moral obligation to care for them and protect them. He is “the only thing standing between these animals and the business practices of August and Uncle Al” (Gruen146).
For August animals mean nothing else than a job. He has to care for them because that’s how circus makes its money. “No animals, no circus” (Gruen79). He is cruel and brutal. He didn’t mind, that the animals from a bankrupt show were suffering without food, water and that they were standing in an extreme heat. “They’ll get fed and watered. Eventually”(Gruen 118). Worse they look, the better price can circus acquire them for. He sees nothing wrong in “teaching Rosie a lesson” (Gruen 170), because to him it’s nothing more than a stupid animal that deserves a punishment. “Cats are worth more than hay burners” is another example of his approach to the business of running a circus. It also appears that for August the animals are more important than human, when he states: ”keeping her [Rosie] fed meant that we couldn’t afford to feed our employees and we had to let some of them go [redlight them]” (Gruen 231). Jacob and August also have a comparable approach to people as they do to animals.
August is an egoistic person. He wouldn’t do anything for...