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"scared money dont make money. Holla" - Mycochina

Water for Elephants Literary Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 03/26/2013 05:14 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 74 
  • Words: 659
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Now that we Americans can looks back into history and survey the past, its obvious that depending on the economy, it affected how people had to live. This is most evident during the great depression.
We see early on that the great depression managed to hit home and have an affect Jacob's family. Times were hard for his parents, and when this all unfolds for Jacob to see, he doesn’t quite fully understand it. After the accidental death of Jacob’s parents, he finds out what his parents had never told him. Jacob was unaware that his parents had accepted payments in the form of food for quite some time. Just from Gruens words you can picture the mien of Jacob. “Apparently my father has been taking payment in the form of beans and eggs for nearly two years.” (Gruen 19) This was a big shock too Jacob and in some way embarrassing for the man to have to find out something like that after the death of your parents and not being told up front.
It’s not surprising that the book portrays circus owners as people who aren’t so lenient with their money, especially Uncle Al. They would do anything to save money or make a quick gain. A thing called red lighting was a scary thought, but all too often, a sad reality. Red lighting was a method used by circus owners where in the middle of the night; performers and other people of the circus staff would be thrown off the train. Although this was such a cruel thing to do, it was what had to be done. Owners had to cut down on staff in the easiest way possible, and red lighting was it. “ ‘A bunch of men went missing overnight, six at least, maybe more.’ ” (Gruen 187) This was a scary thought to sleep with for anybody on the train. We also see that Uncle Al would target circus’ that were struggling and use them for his financial gain.   Al would purchase a circus last minute, right before it went broke. Even though it came with losing respect, it was a cheap method that came with a gain as he could turn them and make a profit.


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