Two Species - One Life

Water for Elephants is a novel filled with eccentric characters that represent the many different themes that Sara Gruen artistically weaves throughout the story. The setting of a circus alone leads to an onslaught of radical themes, but once you dive into the characters, ones original idea of a spectacular show turns into something completely dynamic.   Witnessing a man's love that is divided between two different people, that's complicated. Factor in an elephant named Rosie and the woman, Marlena, who so happens to married to the boss, well, that becomes a whole different twist. Not to mention the story is smack dab in the middle of the depression, leaving everyone feeling that they have nothing else to turn to, but still having the desire to please the masses.
Regardless of the fact that Marlena despises the abuse that Rosie receives, they both aim to please. Rosie digs her heels in and refuses to walk in the parade. Once the wagon pulls up, "August opens the door and whacks Rosie until she enters." (Gruen 162)   Once they return to the menagerie and she is secured in her spot, she turns on her charm. Receiving treats from the onlookers, she entertains them. "One man is brave enough to lean forward and dump a box of Cracker Jack into her open mouth. She rewards him by removing his hat, placing it on her head, and then posing with her trunk circled in the air. The crowd roars and she calmly hands the delighted patron his hat."(Gruen 163) Marlena
does the same just moments later as she is on top of Rosie entering the big top "... Marlena under goes a change that defies belief.   One moment she is askew on Rosie's head lying flat. The next, she yanks herself upright, turns on a smile, and thrusts an arm in the air."(Gruen 164)
Where the difference lies, besides the obvious, is Rosie, in one way or another gets her way. Marlena on the other hand continues to sacrifice herself in the aim please. After Rosie storms out of the big top, Marlena is left dangling from...