Water for Elephants, post B, week 1

While reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, I was in quite and utter awe when I read that Jacob was told that his parents had died in a car accident (p. 17).  I felt this was a good way to transition into Jacob’s new life he will have to tackle, but at the same time I feel deaths, especially to one’s parents, are usually very strong events in a work of fiction.  Also, the author’s choice to put this in the book so early startled me because I wouldn’t have expected something that drastic to happen before a main setting and secondary characters are revealed.  Usually literacy works stay quite close to the basic story outline (rising action, conflict, etc.).  I don’t want to come off as if to criticize the author.  In fact, it’s quite refreshing to read a book that isn’t so tem plated.  I feel the author chose to put these deaths in the books in order to establish Jacob’s situation and why he had to leave.  It’s obvious that if he stayed in his town, he would only be able to think about his lost parents, like when he cannot take his test because he is thinking about the car crash (p. 22). Though it does seem apparent that these deaths won’t be the biggest conflicts in the book, and even though they may be mentioned once and a while, they will probably be thought as irrelevant to the current big conflict, whatever that may be. 


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