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Water for Elephants ?4

May 31, 2007

After Jacob successfully coaches August in Polish commands for Rosie, he observes, “It’s only when I catch Rosie actually purring under August’s loving ministrations that my conviction starts to crumble. And what I’m left looking at in its place is a terrible thing” (page 229). What is Jacob left “looking at,” how does it pertain to August’s personality and Jacob’s relationship with August, and what makes it a “terrible thing”?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2007 2:05 pm

    Jacob’s obviously feeling guilty about his feelings for Marlena, and is wondering whether those feelings are the real reason he has such hatred towards August.

    I thought that it was odd that Jacob was confused about August’s behavior, and yet was able to correct Uncle Al with the right term when being told of August’s schizophrenia. I’m not sure how much was known during that time period of the disease–I thought that it was a relatively new concept back then.

  2. Donna permalink
    June 3, 2007 8:07 pm

    At this point I thought that Jacob’s reaction was a bit of jealousy. How could Rosie purr for someone who abused her so badly? How could Marlena stay with someone who treated her badly? The relationship between an abuser and the abused is conflicting to a person outside the relationship.

  3. June 5, 2007 1:58 pm

    I disagree. I don’t think this has THAT much to do w/ Marlena. I really think this is guilt in Jacob for seeing a loving, intelligent and naive animal like Rosie now positively cooing over someone who is not-so-kind (August)….and really this is foreshadowing for the future murder of August. He certainly will not, due to his illness, continue to elicit such cooing from Rosie in the future due to his horrible behavior.

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