Comparing The Hero's Journey In Water For Elephants By Sara Gruen

1911 Words8 Pages
“Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination” Drake once stated. In the novel “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, a young man who is recently orphaned decides to escape all the reality that surrounds him by jumping on a passing train to run away with the Benzini Brother’s circus. He comes head to head with the circus’ chaos, forcing him to use his veterinary skills, protect the wife of the cruel ringleader of whom he has become infatuated with and to become a savior for the animals and his friends. Jacob Jankowski experiences the hero’s quest for identity through his experiences of working in the circus. In his numerous adventures, he experiences the stages of the departure, initiation and the return in the hero’s journey. After the death of his parents due to an automobile accident, “The Call to Adventure” is presented when Jacob notices a passing train while pondering about returning to Cornell to finish his final college exams. Seeing the train as his opportunity to escape the accident and his overwhelmed emotions, Jacob starts running like the wind after the train in an attempt to hop on, “I manage…show more content…
In his numerous adventures, he experiences the stages of the departure, initiation and the return in the hero’s journey. He has faced individual challenges as well as challenges with Marlena, all of which have reaped the benefits of his circumstances. The Jacob as an elderly man in the final chapter recounts their life together of which he had grown to become a real veterinarian. He and Marlena were living on a rural property together where their family could enjoy the animals as much as they did while on the circus together. Jacob Jankowski is a prime example of a young individual who was once lost and confused but was able to find himself through his journey and eventually found his
Open Document