Loyalty In Water For Elephants, By Sara Gruen

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Loyalty can be perceived in many different ways. Loyalty may be shown by an individual as repayment, sympathy, or it may just be a part of one’s character and personality. Ultimately, loyalty is an act of faithfulness, reliability, and commitment. The opposite, disloyalty, is an act of dishonesty. In the novel: “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, the main character, Jacob Jankowski, portrays elements of, both, loyalty and disloyalty. Jacob is deceiving and disloyal in many aspects of this novel; however, once he learns lessons of loyalty from other characters, he embraces loyalty in return – it becomes evident that Jacob’s actions were acts of repayment towards his peers. The relationship between Jacob and August was quite hazy. It seemed as though Jacob had befriended August for the wrong reason; to steal his wife. However, there was definitely more to it than just that. It became obvious that Jacob treated people how they would treat him. In this case, August was not too fond of Jacob, especially after he suspected Jacob of having an affair with his wife, Marlena. The cruelty of August’s personality had shown an increased amount of disloyalty. He gained pleasure in convincing Jacob to enter a cage with a lion: “He’s just a widdle kitty cat.” (85) This evilness and betrayal of Jacob’s trust was an evident case of disloyalty from August. This caused Jacob to stay distant from August and also become more cautious of August’s actions. Once again, the reader is quickly able to see that Jacob would result to repayment. Jacob learns not to trust August and unknowingly returns the same disloyal actions by slowly taking away Marlena, August’s wife. If August had been a true friend to Jacob, the reader could definitely doubt this situati... ... middle of paper ... ...ms to get along with, is leaving the nursing home, he begins to realize how grateful he was of her presence in his life. In novel Water for Elephants, the author, Sara Gruen, was able to present many different acts of loyalty and disloyalty within the story. Acts of kind, honesty, faithfulness or hatred from characters throughout the novel towards Jacob, resulted in the same acts from Jacob. Seemingly, Jacob was a deceiving and disloyal character to some characters, such as August. However, as the novel progressed, it became obvious that Jacob would learn his lessons of loyalty from others before he has showed it himself. Jacob showed utmost respect for the ones whom truly cared about him. He continued to grow, and show characteristics of a man as he learned different lessons. Ultimately, it became evident that Jacob Jankowski’s actions were solely acts of repayment.

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