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Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Later Chapters--Jacob's "leap of faith"?

Did Jacob keep faith with 1) his father, 2) Marlene, 3) Rosie, 4) himself?

I have to answer a resounding YES to all of these. Jacob is a character with a very strong moral center. His moral compass is consistent throughout his life, and he treats everyone he meets, human or animal, with honor and respect.

He honors his father's memory and core values, as a vet, to care for all animals, whether their owner can pay in cash or not.

He rescues Marlena from an evil marriage with August; he is faithful to Marlena throughout his marriage. And in his old age, he honors her memory with amazing devotion.

He keeps Rosie's secret for 70 years of his life; in those days, elephant execution was a very real threat. He refuses to talk about his circus life in the nursing home because he fears that his memory lapses may let it slip. Try to imagine the huge emotional cost it must have been for him. I even wonder if it didn't close him off emotionally from his own children and grandchildren.

Jacob is a very likeable character with a very strong moral center. It's doubly impressive that he kept his morals and his core values in the face of human evil in like Uncle Al and August.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Is the ending realistic? -- POSSIBLE SPOILER


ELee wrote:
As much as I want to believe, with my whole heart and soul, that this ending is feasible...I just can’t. There is no way that this would happen in 2006 as it is written. Now that I have said that, cudos to Sara Gruen for giving Jacob that ending!! He more than deserves it. Call it artistic license; if I have to pay for my warm-and-fuzzies by accepting a less than starkly realistic outcome, then so be it! If I wanted glaring reality I could close my book and walk out of my front door. Or read a newspaper featuring a story about the latest crime. Or watch the news on TV. Whether his return to the circus is the result of an Alzheimer fog, a happy day dream or a writer’s vehicle, it is a return to a family that accepted him, a return home. And isn’t that where we all want to be in the end? Like the circus, Jacob’s return to it is about illusions, dreams and suspension of reality. It’s like carrying water for elephants...



Great post Elee! That's exactly why I enjoy reading so much. I have no problem with the ending and I think it is a beautiful way for Jacob to live out his days. Maybe it's even a new beginning to an old story for him. This book was filled with fantasy and harsh reality and I think it works very well together. I think the ending is a good blend of both.
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: making living tolerable


ELee wrote:
Thank you for your post, Peppermill.

I couldn’t agree with you more-

“...sometimes when we walk out the door and see only stark reality, we need to notice the roses are blooming or the snow has covered an ancient 600-year-old tree or a child is playing hopscotch on one of those light games malls are installing...”

I work in center city Philadelphia and walk a few blocks from my job to the train station. One evening last week, I was approaching the courthouse when I noticed a huge flock of birds in the sky. They were circling and dipping, sometimes breaking off into two or three groups moving apart until the whole number came together again. It reminded me of a giant school of fish, completely changing directions in a flash and moving in unison. It was breathtaking. I stopped in my tracks to watch. Then I looked down at the people moving all around me. Not one other person looked up. They were almost zombie-like, their bodies had just left work and their minds were already at home.

I think we all should remind ourselves to occasionally “stop and smell the roses”.



ELee and Peppermill,
You both have reminded us of important messages, not only for the holiday season but for all times. We have so much to be grateful for. We need to remember to slow down and appreciate it more.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Is the ending realistic? -- POSSIBLE SPOILER



Wrighty wrote:

ELee wrote:
As much as I want to believe, with my whole heart and soul, that this ending is feasible...I just can’t. There is no way that this would happen in 2006 as it is written. Now that I have said that, cudos to Sara Gruen for giving Jacob that ending!! He more than deserves it. Call it artistic license; if I have to pay for my warm-and-fuzzies by accepting a less than starkly realistic outcome, then so be it! If I wanted glaring reality I could close my book and walk out of my front door. Or read a newspaper featuring a story about the latest crime. Or watch the news on TV. Whether his return to the circus is the result of an Alzheimer fog, a happy day dream or a writer’s vehicle, it is a return to a family that accepted him, a return home. And isn’t that where we all want to be in the end? Like the circus, Jacob’s return to it is about illusions, dreams and suspension of reality. It’s like carrying water for elephants...



Great post Elee! That's exactly why I enjoy reading so much. I have no problem with the ending and I think it is a beautiful way for Jacob to live out his days. Maybe it's even a new beginning to an old story for him. This book was filled with fantasy and harsh reality and I think it works very well together. I think the ending is a good blend of both.




You are so right, it was just the right blend. Every story doesn't have to contain all reality. The magic has to be instilled some where. And Greun did it so well with Jacob and the circus at the beginning and the end.
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