Jacob and His Decisions: an Analysis of Water for Elephants Using Moral Criticism

724 Words Nov 28th, 2012 3 Pages
Evan Dauphinais
Mrs. Burns
Contemporary Literature ACP
29 September 2012
Jacob and His Decisions: An Analysis of Water for Elephants using Moral Criticism
When writers focus on morality, they try to write with a sense of moral so they do not corrupt the audience of the book. The main focus is to keep corruption away from society. In the novel, Water for Elephants written by Sara Gruen, the protagonist, Jacob Jankowski, makes many moral judgments and faces multiple moral dilemmas that force him to decide what is right and what is wrong.
Jacob struggles with the conflicts and possible consequences of taking in his friend Camel and hiding him. Camel is one of the first people Jacob meets at the circus. He is one of the first to be kind
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Jacob hates August for his actions and knows that violence should not be part of a relationship. Another moral dilemma that Jacob faces is when he walks into the stateroom, intending to kill August with a knife. His moral instincts force him to put the knife down because he knew it would not be right to kill him. When Marlena tells Jacob that she is pregnant, Jacob now feels even more responsible for her. He wants what is best for Marlena and knows in his heart that she should not be with the violent, schizophrenic August.
Jacob wants to help Rosie and does not want to hurt her because he knows that it is wrong and he feels morally responsible for her. Both Jacob and Rosie fear August because he hurts Rosie with the bull hook and Jacob wants to teach her new tricks without having to use physical abuse. Jacob dislikes August and “hate[s] him for being so brutal” (171). He knows that it is not right to hurt Rosie even if it does make it easier to teach her new things.
Jacob faces many moral dilemmas and makes many tough decisions that put him in difficult situations. He puts himself before others and sacrifices his own life making him a true hero. He follows his heart and knows what is right. Jacob lives in a corrupt world during a difficult time period and he tries his best to find the difference between what seems right and what is

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