Desire In Gruen's Water For Elephants

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Growing up we all have asked our parents the tireless question “are we there yet?”. Trapped in a musty car in the sweltering heat with our legs stuck to the sticky leather of the seat the only thing on our minds was how long until we could be put out of or misery. We were determined to get an answer so we relentlessly insisted on badger our parents. After being worn down from a countless number of questions, our parents would finally provide us with an answer. In Gruen’s novel, Water for Elephants, she proves that persistence leads to the achievement of desire. This is seen through Jacob Jankowski when he is faced with desires that he can not immediately attain such as having Marlena to himself, caring and protecting Rosie, and sustaining a…show more content…
When Uncle Al first breaks to the news to Jacob, August, and Marlena that he bought a bull they rush over to see her. Jacob notices that there is something different about her and that her eyes are “eerily human... they’re amber, set deep in her head, and fringed with outrageously long lashes” (Gruen 126). They meet the Fox Brother’s bull man and he tells them that Rosie is stupid and is only good to stand and take candy and lemonade. In the next three stops the circus makes the weather is blistering hot and the lemonade goes missing. Before the show in Columbus, Uncle Al comes storming into Marlena’s tent screaming with rage. He tells August that Rosie has been the one stealing all the lemonade and because of it he is going to take it from August’s pay. This makes August furious and he storms off to make Rosie pay by beating her with the bull hook. Later that night when Jacob returns to the stock car he finds Walter with two bottles of whiskey. Knowing that Rosie likes alcohol, Jacob asks Walter if it is alright if he takes a bottle to a friend. He tells him that “I’ve got some making up to do, I let her down today” (Gruen 225). Jacob walks to the menagerie tent to mend things over with Rosie and sees that she is hurting and is overwhelmed with guilt. He had failed her and had neglected to take care of her when she was most vulnerable, but by bringing her his…show more content…
Once Jacob realized what kind of train he had jumped onto he chooses to stay and work because he has nowhere else to go. He first gets a job cleaning out animal cars. After going to breakfast and talking with Camel, he gets another job working with Camel’s friend, Cecil. Jacob asks Camel what he will be doing and Camel says “whatever he says. You stick with him the rest of the day, and he’ll put in a word for you” (Gruen 37). Cecil places Jacob on Barbara’s tent to keep order and occasionally hit the side of the tent to keep men from peeping who haven’t paid to watch. Later that night after Uncle Al had a few drinks in him to loosen him up, Earl took Jacob to Uncle Al’s car to see if he could get a job. Uncle Al asks him what he thinks he is doing on this train and Jacob replies “I’m looking for work... I’ll do just about anything. But if possible I’d like to work with animals” (Gruen 57). Upon hearing this Uncle Al beings to laugh hysterically and proceeds to tell Jacob that “if I gave you a job on the show, you wouldn’t survive a week...now piss off” (Gruen 58). Despite Al’s attitude, Jacob is determined to get a job so he tells him that he went to vet school as his last home for getting a job. Because the circus doesn’t have a vet this catches Uncle Al’s attention and he gives him a job. He tells him that if he has one
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