Water for elephants

Topics: Great Depression, Ringling Brothers Circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Pages: 7 (2469 words) Published: January 15, 2014
Water for Elephants.
by Sara Gruen.
"Life is the most Spectacular Show on Earth!"- Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants.
"All I can do is put in time waiting for the inevitable. Observing the ghosts from my past, rattling around in my vacuous present. They crash and bang and make themselves at home, mostly because there's no competition. I've stopped fighting them." says Jacob Jankowski, who is now ninety (or ninety three). Mr. Jankowski reflects upon memories of himself as a young man, tossed by an unnerving past into the lively world of the circus. Without a home, friend to call, or penny to his name- the circus must be ideal for Jacob, but is it? Page by page, this new life proves to be both a sanctuary and a literal hell for Jacob. Revealing the horrors of the circus, the beauty of all things living, and the reality that life that never stops moving forward, Sara Gruen presents; Water for Elephants- a profound, brilliantly written novel that lives, teaches, and captivates far beyond the last page.

"I had my whole life planned, I knew exactly where it was taking me.." said Jacob Jankowski- before fate threw him into a whole new world; a world filled with freaks and secrets, a world with it's own set of rules, and it's own way of life. A youthful Jacob proves to be intelligent and compassionate, as well as honest and independent. Studying at Cornell, Jacob appears to be on a road to success. One moment he is taking the final exam at Cornell. And the next, Jacob's road to success is taken from beneath his feet. Both of his parents have died in a car accident, now orphaned and without a home or money, Jacob leaves Cornell and before he can blink he has jumped onto a train owned by the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

"Age is a terrible theif. Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse." says a now older Jacob Jankowski in his ninties, predestined to await his death in a nursing home. With his life now behind him, Mr.Jankowski is a defiant, frustrated old man with the same independence he had as a student at Cornell. His soul now weathered, we learn that he is a man with an old soul, he has lived his life honestly. However, life in this home has suffocated his independence, and frustrated him deeply. He feels he is being treated like an animal in the circus, not as a respected human being. He reminises, asking himself many of the questions that we ask ourselves; am I happy? am I successful? am I at peace?. Mr.Jankowski is a man who lived through one of the biggest circus disasters in history, yet no one has found the time to listen to him, Mr.Jankowski is left alone to reflect on his life. Though his memory fails him at times in the present, his life in the past remains vivid and evident, he recalls every last detail of his life in the circus. Mr.Jankowski's memories, written as he remembers, become the unforgettable story- Water for Elephants.

Jacob Jankowski is studying at Cornell, an Ivy league college, he is extremely successfull. At this moment, Jacob seems to have a healthy, successfull life in the palm of his hands, but Jacob soon finds himself in complete despiration, confusion, he has nothing. Both of Jacob's parents have died in a car accident, Jacob is notified that at the time of their death, his parents did not have a dollar to their name. They had stopped paying mortgage, in order to pay for Jacob's tuition. Jacob's home, and all of his parents possesions are now property of the state. Jacob has no friends to call, no money to support himself, and no family other than his deceased parents. Jacob is in shock, he is cold, he feels he is watching himself walk aimlessly throughout life. During Jacob's final exam at Cornell, Jacob discovers that his life has suddenly lost all meaning. Jacob leaves in the middle of his exam, and he never looked...
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