Archive for December, 2007

Water for Elephants, post B, week 6

December 27, 2007

The final section of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ended the book quite happily, which was very unexpected.  The whole book was leading up to the final confrontation between August and Jacob.  It was the main conflict throughout the book and supplied some of the greatest parts of suspense.  The author only made this more traumatic when she announces that Marlena becomes pregnant with Jacobs baby just days before they are about to leave the show, on page 284.  This only teased the reader more about how climatic this confrontation was going to be.  It was widely known that August had a temper and was very protective about Marlena, even after he hit her and she was obviously done with their marriage.  So if August found out about the pregnancy, his main goal would be to either Jacob or have him killed.  But instead of putting this duel of rivals in the book, the author ended the greatest conflict in the book pretty easily.  On page 309, August is laughing by Rosie the elephant while the infamous stampede is taking place when suddenly Rosie takes a giant stake out from the  ground, puts it clean through August’s head, and puts it nonchalantly back into the earth, as if nothing were to have just taken place.  Do to the stampede, the police ruled August’s death to be caused by trampling. Only Jacob knew what really happened.  The reason I’m not to angry that the author took the easy way out is simple; she gave me the ending I was hoping for, which made me a lot happier than the alternative. 

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Water for Elephants, post A, week 6

December 27, 2007

            In the final section of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, I was able to find two vocabulary words; Precedence (314) which means the order to be observed in ceremonies by persons of different ranks, as by diplomatic protocol and forlornly (316) which means lonely or sad.  I also found three examples of figurative language that I found interesting, like this example in the book of personification; “The engine’s whistle blows mournfully, a distant sound that somehow cuts through the insistent buzzing in my ears” (291).  This is an example of a personification because the engine’s whistle, something that is not human, is doing something human-like.  I also found this example of onomatopoeia; “Shh, don’t move” (291).  This is an example of onomatopoeia because “Shh” is supposed to represent the sound that the character is making.  I also found another example of onomatopoeia in the book; “And you should be grateful we do, because what the hell do you think would happen to you if we took off right now? Hmmm?” (293). This is also an example of onomatopoeia because “Hmmm” is supposed to represent the sound that the character makes with his mouth, not an actual word.  I also found this quote in the book that I think is significant; “Mr. Jankowski, I’m going to get you into the show now before there’s nothing left to see, but it would be an honor and a privilege if you would join me for a drink in my trailer after the show.  You’re a living piece of history, and I’d surely love to hear about that collapse firsthand. I’d be happy to see you home afterward” (325).  This quote is significant because it is really one of the first times in a while that Jacob has gotten the respect he deserves from someone other than Rosemary.  An occurring theme in this last part of the book was long lasting  happiness, especially the long lasting happiness that Jacob and Marlena have after they no longer have to conceal their relationship.   

Water for Elephants, post B, week 5

December 24, 2007

In week five of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the reader is exposed to probably the biggest climax of the book so far.  From pages 243 to 247, August confronts Marlena and Jacob, right when they are surprising him with champagne, about his suspicions that they are having an affair.  No matter what Marlena and Jacob try to tell August, he has become so convinced by rage and jealousy that Jacob and Marlena are having an affair that he won’t listen to reason.  He soon becomes aggressive and gets into a brawl with Jacob.  During this part, Jacob and August basically pound each other’s faces into pulpy things until Jacob is dragged away by Earl.  August also becomes quite aggressive with Marlena and gives her a black eye, which becomes the reason that she leaves him.  During this whole part, the reader has to watch as a completely inevitable seen enfolds in front of them.  For the majority of the book, Jacob has been obsessed with Marlena, and despite the warnings of his fellow workers, like Walter, he continues to pursue her and lets lust get the best of him.  Unfortunately for Jacob, it seems he could not have found a worse spouse to do this to, mostly because of August.  The man is known for his streaks of violence and aggression, and yet Jacob looks past all of this in order to try to win the heart of a Girl he knows he can’t have.  We’ll see if this leaves Jacob happy or heartbroken in the final section of the book.

Note to Mr. Hatten-both these blogs we’re written Sunday night, but it might say Monday.  Sorry about that.  Happy Holidays!          

Water for Elephants, post B, week 5

December 24, 2007

In week five of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the reader is exposed to probably the biggest climax of the book so far.  From pages 243 to 247, August confronts Marlena and Jacob, right when they are surprising him with champagne, about his suspicions that they are having an affair.  No matter what Marlena and Jacob try to tell August, he has become so convinced by rage and jealousy that Jacob and Marlena are having an affair that he won’t listen to reason.  He soon becomes aggressive and gets into a brawl with Jacob.  During this part, Jacob and August basically pound each other’s faces into pulpy things until Jacob is dragged away by Earl.  August also becomes quite aggressive with Marlena and gives her a black eye, which becomes the reason that she leaves him.  During this whole part, the reader has to watch as a completely inevitable seen enfolds in front of them.  For the majority of the book, Jacob has been obsessed with Marlena, and despite the warnings of his fellow workers, like Walter, he continues to pursue her and lets lust get the best of him.  Unfortunately for Jacob, it seems he could not have found a worse spouse to do this to, mostly because of August.  The man is known for his streaks of violence and aggression, and yet Jacob looks past all of this in order to try to win the heart of a Girl he knows he can’t have.  We’ll see if this leaves Jacob happy or heartbroken in the final section of the book.

Note to Mr. Hatten-both these blogs we’re written Sunday night, but it might say Monday.  Sorry about that.  Happy Holidays!          

Water for Elephants, post A, week 5

December 24, 2007

In this part of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, I was able to find two vocabulary words that stood out to me.  Pachyderm (236) which is an elephant and grimace (241) which means a facial expression, often ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval or pain.  I was also able to find some figurative language in this part of the book, like this example of a simile; “’Did I catch you at a bad moment?’ he says, looking up at us.  He sounds as though he’s just asked someone to pass the salt” (244).  I know that this is a simile because it is comparing the two unlike sentences of passing the salt and intruding on a couple by using like or as.  I also found this example of a metaphor; “And then the shower of money starts-the sweet, sweet shower of money” (237).  This is an example of a metaphor because it is comparing two unlike things, in this case showers, which are usually put together with water, and money.  I also found this example of a simile; “She straightens her knee slowly, her other leg pointing to the side, toes extended like a ballerina’s” (236).  This is an example of a simile because it uses like or as to compare two unlike things, in this case Marlena, a circus performer, to a ballerina.  I also find a quote that I thought was significant.  After about an hour she falls asleep, sliding down until her head rests on my shoulder.  I remain awake, every fiber of my body aware of her proximity” (253).  This quote is significant because it is really the closest Jacob and Marlena have ever consensually been to each other.  One theme emerging in the book right now is heartbrokenness, especially when Marlena leaves August.             

Water for Elephants, post B, week 4

December 12, 2007

It seemed that in the fourth part of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the author is beginning to emphasize the tension that is building up between August and Jacob.  It is now very much clear to the reader that Jacob is seriously interested in Marlena, through the author’s portrayal of his thought’s, words, and dreams.  If this were a simple, juvenile crush, there would be no problems.  Jacob could go on daydreaming about Marlena while she could pretend to be oblivious to it all.  But it soon becomes clear to the reader that Marlena has great feelings for Jacob as well, as the author shows us on page 195.  Marlena has become greatly confused by what she wants, for she yearns to be the  with kind, understanding Jacob, but she knows that if August were to ever find out, there’s no telling what that brute force might do.  Marlena obviously knows that because of this, she and Jacob she restrain from being seen with each other alone, like when she asks Jacob to leaver her dressing tent after telling him about how she ended up with August on page 222.  So it seems that the relationship and tension between August Jacob is really changing drastically throughout the book.  There are times when the reader is led to believe that August knows everything about his wife and Jacob, Through is anger and rage, but there are other times where August acts as if he and Jacob are the best of friends.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

Water for Elephants, post A, week 4

December 12, 2007

After reading the fourth part of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, I was able to find two vocabulary words; inconsolable (p. 207), which means one that can not be comforted, and pirouette (p. 202), which means a whirling about on one foot or on the points of the toes, as in ballet dancing.  I was also able to find a number of examples of figurative language, like this example of a simile; “I turn my head slowly, chin raised like an Egyptian pharaoh, training my gaze on the magenta and white striped big top” (p. 175).  This is an example of a simile because Jacob isn’t really an Egyptian pharaoh, so he’s comparing two unlike things using like or as.  I was able to find another simile in the reading as well; “My brain is like a universe whose gases get thinner and thinner at the edges” (p. 219).  This is a simile because Jacob’s brain isn’t really a universe, he is merely comparing these two unlike things using like or as in order to explain the complexity of his elderly mind.  I was able, once again, to find another simile as well; “I scoop Walter up like a sack of flour and toss him inside” (p. 207).  This is a simile because Walter is not a sack of flour, but Jacob is comparing these two unlike things using like or as in order to explain how he picked up Walter.  In the reading, I was also able to find a quote that I found significant. “’I…I’m not really sure,’ she says. “I hardly know what to think anymore.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.  I know what I’m feeling is wrong, but I just…Well, I guess I just wondered…’” (p. 195).  This quote, which is said by Marlena to Jacob, is significant because it’s the first time Marlena really admits she has an infatuation towards Jacob.  One emerging theme in the book right now is suspense, especially about what is going to happen between August and Jacob, if anything.    

   

Water for Elephants, post B, week 3

December 5, 2007

A letter to Jacob, the protagonist of Water for Elephants

 

Dear Jacob,

            In the part of the book that I have just read, you appear to be getting into a tricky situation.  By now, it is obvious to the reader that you are interested in Marlena.  In any other situation, this would not be a problem, but Marlena’s partner, August, are very much romantically involved.  In the book, august has quite a temper, and it obvious that he’s very protective of Marlena.  The Problem that you now face Jacob is that you are letting your lust for Marlena get the best of you, like when you kissed her in that alleyway behind the club on page 153.  There is a reason that Marlena did not kiss you back, and left you in the alleyway on page 154, and it’s not because she doesn’t have any interest in you.  It’s because she is worried about the consequences that will follow if you both became secretly involved. The Biggest concern she is thing about is what would happen if August ever found out, what he would do to her, and more importantly, what he would do to you. This is basically what Walter was trying to tell you on page 158.  August is known for his temper, and while you’re at least somewhat on his good side, you should do nothing to change that.  My  advise for you is take any idea of you and Marlena being together out of your head before you do something stupid again that could threaten your life.  

                                                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                                                            The Reader

Water for Elephants, post A, week 3

December 5, 2007

In this part of the book, I found two vocabulary words that caught my attention.  Askew(p. 164)-To one side, out of the line, in a crooked position, and Trudge(p. 162)-To walk laboriously or wearily.  I was also able to find three examples of figurative language.  “’Hmmmm?’”(p. 134).  This is an example of onomatopoeia because it is a word said to represent a sound or noise.  On that same page, there was another example of onomatopoeia. “’Mmmmm,’ she says, her eyes half closed,” (p. 134).  Because this is explaining the sound the woman is making with her mouth, it is an example of onomatopoeia.  On page 156, I was able to find an example of symbolism.  “’Hey, Sleeping Beauty,’ he says, shaking me.”  This is symbolism because Jacob isn’t really sleeping beauty, but Walter, the one shaking Jacob, is saying it as a figurative symbol due to his drowsiness.  I found a passage in the reading that I found significant.  “’Because if I thought she was in any danger at all, there’s no knowing what I might do.’  I look up quickly.  August is staring right at me,” (p.159).  This quote is significant because Jacob realizes at this point that August suspects that Jacob is interested in Marlena.  One reoccurring theme in the book seems to be embarrassment, especially the embarrassment Jacob feels.