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Water for Elephants ?3

May 30, 2007

In connection with Jacob’s formal dinner with August and Marlena in their stateroom, Jacob remarks, “August is gracious, charming, and mischievous” (page 93). To what extent is this an adequate characterization of August? How would you expand upon Jacob’s observation? How would you characterize August? Which situations in the novel reveal his true character?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth permalink
    May 31, 2007 9:11 pm

    I suspected August had some sort of a disorder. My brother-in-law is schizophrenic although he is treated. He has threatened to kill one day and act charming the next. Most of August’s problems stemmed from his disorder. If not for being a genius at his job, I’m sure he would have been red-lighted. I’d characterize him as a demented man that abused men, women, and animals when in a rage.

  2. June 1, 2007 12:10 pm

    During August’s good times, he was charming and gracious. That is how he hooked Marlena in the first place. This change in behavior confused Jacob at the beginning.

    AS someone suggested on a previous question, August may have been a better man with treatment.

  3. June 5, 2007 1:52 pm

    I wasn’t sure if he needed treatment at first or was just an egomaniac!!! Talk about a need for anger management – geez Louise!

    Honestly? Maybe I’m a cynic here, but I don’t think he would absolutely be a better person with treatment. The only time he is truly kind to people (or animals) is when they “perform” they way he wants them to – i.e. leading to more cash.

  4. June 12, 2007 2:46 pm

    I agree with Kim – treatment probably would have made him less volatile, but even when he was charming, he was egomaniacal. Even so, seeing someone whose judgement/sense of reality is so impaired makes me sad for all the people affected, Marlena & Jacob as well as August himself.

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