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Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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A different train...

I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: A different train...



Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




As a matter of fact, Wrighty, I gave that a little consideration myself. But I tend to be a simple person and I just attributed the fact that he happened to jump on a circus train as a matter of fate. For good or bad it was something that was just meant to be. Sometimes the pieces fit. Circus train w/nice guy, stay - Circus train w/just Blackie,jumps for his life. Picks up a train going back home and he gets a clerks job w/the arrogant lawyer, who knows. Too much to ponder, too little time to ponder it, sorry :smileysad:
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
Frequent Contributor
ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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choo choo (possible SPOILER)



Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




I think regardless of where he ended up he would have worked with animals. I could see him riding a freight train out west, working on a ranch and either becoming a vet or filling a position of equal importance with people that would recognize how talented he was. Or hopping a passenger train and meeting some highbrow philanthropist type that would provide him with a job until he worked it out for himself that he wanted to be a vet, and "his own man". The reason he stayed with the circus (before his involvement with Marlena) was because he couldn't abandon the animals. I can relate to that. I'm a "love me, love my dog" kind of person.
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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...



Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG
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Popper19
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
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Re: A different train...



fordmg wrote:


Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG




I agree it was fate that put him on the circus train versus a different train.
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...


Popper19 wrote:


fordmg wrote:
At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG


I agree it was fate that put him on the circus train versus a different train.


I think it was fate too. There was a place for him there and that's what he needed - a place.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: A different train...


Wrighty wrote:

Popper19 wrote:

fordmg wrote: At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG
I agree it was fate that put him on the circus train versus a different train.
I think it was fate too. There was a place for him there and that's what he needed - a place.
So what is meant by "fate"?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: A different train...

Fate is whatever the author chose for her characters... she's the omniscient creator. We, as readers, can imagine all sorts of scenarios, some maybe even more intriguing than the one that actually made it to the presses. But in the end, the story is exactly what the author created.

I mean, this isn't a Greek tragedy, right?

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: A different train...



IBIS wrote:
Fate is whatever the author chose for her characters... she's the omniscient creator. We, as readers, can imagine all sorts of scenarios, some maybe even more intriguing than the one that actually made it to the presses. But in the end, the story is exactly what the author created.

I mean, this isn't a Greek tragedy, right?

IBIS




I agree. The characters fate is already determined in the pages of the book. As heartless as it may sound, I rarely give much thought to how a characters life would have played out had he/she taken a different path. Maybe this is a level of reading I have yet to attain, I don't know. To me, the book (at least fiction)is what it is. Now on the other hand, perhaps reading a non fiction book I may consider how a life could have been different had the character made a certain decision, but fictional characters don't do that to me.
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...



Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!



I hadn't thought about this...
I think Jacob would have led a more conventional life had he not jumped on a circus train. I think he would have returned for his finals and worked as a vet somewhere. I assume that on another train, he wouldn't have had a job and meals handed to him, so he would have had to act differently. However, that makes for a boring story! LOL!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: A different train...

Now on the other hand, perhaps reading a non fiction book I may consider how a life could have been different had the character made a certain decision, but fictional characters don't do that to me.

Fascinating distinction! I wonder if I do the same. Usually I don't "what if" a story, but rather may consider whether it seems feasible given the characters and the setting. But, I'll have to observe now whether I sometimes ask "if only" or "what if" when reading a biography or memoir!

Carmenere_lady wrote:

IBIS wrote:
Fate is whatever the author chose for her characters... she's the omniscient creator. We, as readers, can imagine all sorts of scenarios, some maybe even more intriguing than the one that actually made it to the presses. But in the end, the story is exactly what the author created.

I mean, this isn't a Greek tragedy, right?

IBIS

I agree. The characters fate is already determined in the pages of the book. As heartless as it may sound, I rarely give much thought to how a characters life would have played out had he/she taken a different path. Maybe this is a level of reading I have yet to attain, I don't know. To me, the book (at least fiction)is what it is. Now on the other hand, perhaps reading a non fiction book I may consider how a life could have been different had the character made a certain decision, but fictional characters don't do that to me.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...



fordmg wrote:


Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG





Something that rang true for me about the novel was the fact that there were many, many young men in those days jumping trains and trying to find whatever kind of living they could scrape together for themselves. My great uncle did it, from the year he graduated high school, until the year he was drafted into WW2. For him, the war was a great relief!
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...


rkubie wrote:
Something that rang true for me about the novel was the fact that there were many, many young men in those days jumping trains and trying to find whatever kind of living they could scrape together for themselves. My great uncle did it, from the year he graduated high school, until the year he was drafted into WW2. For him, the war was a great relief!



What a hard life! I can't even imagine what it would be like to live that way. And in those cases it was done for survival not adventure.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: A different train...


rkubie wrote:
br>MG





Something that rang true for me about the novel was the fact that there were many, many young men in those days jumping trains and trying to find whatever kind of living they could scrape together for themselves. My great uncle did it, from the year he graduated high school, until the year he was drafted into WW2. For him, the war was a great relief!




Rang true for me too. My dad jumped a train when he was a young man to play D ball (baseballs lowest minor league back in the day) in Nebraska. Perhaps the train holds a special place in some hearts because (in some cases)it was a means to a dream.
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A different train...



rkubie wrote:


fordmg wrote:


Wrighty wrote:
I don't recall seeing this discussed already but I've been wondering about it since I started the book. Since Jacob was in shock after losing his parents he wandered aimlessly until he decided to jump aboard an approaching train. That train happened to be for a circus and he happened to encounter a man friendly enough to let him stay and help him find a job. What if Jacob had jumped aboard a different kind of train - cattle or horses, freight, passengers? Do you think he would have gone where the train took him or do you think he would have gone back to his former life and tried to finish school? Was the circus meant to be or was it just a fluke? I'm just curious what others think and where your imaginations take you. It would certainly be a different story and definitely a different title!




At least for the short term, Jacob would have gone where ever the train went. Depending on what was there, he would have a variety of experiences. It was fate that put him in the circus.
MG





Something that rang true for me about the novel was the fact that there were many, many young men in those days jumping trains and trying to find whatever kind of living they could scrape together for themselves. My great uncle did it, from the year he graduated high school, until the year he was drafted into WW2. For him, the war was a great relief!





I agree, Rachel. Jacob as a character reminded me of authors like James Patterson that use the same main character over and over. Jacob would fit in on any train of life experiences because of the skilled writer, Sarah Gruen.
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