Finding the Blessings in Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

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“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds with it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” (Buddha) The difference between the New York Best Seller book Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen and the winner of the people’s choice awards for favourite drama movie Water For Elephants is evident. Despite bearing similarities in the plot line, the differences between both are clear. The movie adaptation portrays characters differently, which, in turn, affects the plot line. For instance, August’s character’s personality and way of handling situations is changed, whereas Jacob’s character is not shown as a bitter, sad old man in the movie, and Uncle Al, the circus owners character is removed.
The situations August’s character encounters are similar from novel to movie, but the way he handles himself throughout the novel and during the movie are undeniably different. August’s character in the novel is more of a passive person when it comes to Marlena and Jacob’s relationship. He watches from afar as they dance or when they have “moments”(Water For Elephants) as Jacob said. August very well knows that Jacob is interested in Marlena but he chooses not to believe it. He pushes those thoughts aside until the day he walks in on them planning his surprise party which he believes was them trying to get some alone time. When this happens, we begin to see his character as the villain when he attacks Jacob. In the movie, August’s character is very dominant towards Marlena and we see that he believes to have a sense of ownership towards her. As the movie progresses, he becomes increasingly violent. When realizing that there is a relationship developing between Jacob and Marlena, Jacob confronts them and Marlena gets on her knees tr...

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... Rosie, but also red lighting workers when they are injured or ill, animal cruelty, disrespect towards his peers and destruction of the circus. We see him as a man with many problems, which he takes his anger out on Marlena or Rosie, two very important roles in both the movie and novel. Removing Uncle Al from the movie brings on a completely different perspective on the way the circus is run by August’s and makes us realize to which point there are far bigger issues with him then what we read in the novel. When his mental illness is combined with power and jealousy, he goes to extreme lengths to hurt the ones he supposedly loves.
As seen above, the movie adaptation portrays characters differently, which, in turn, affects the plot line. The three characters personalities are alternated, interchanged and tampered with to create a more dramatic Hollywood style film.

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