In Water for Elephants, why does Jacob not feel guilty when Walter and Camel are redlighted?
Jacob actually does feel guilty when Walter and Camel are redlighted because he knows that he was the intended victim. Jacob left the ring stock car to kill August, but he only ended up leaving a knife on August's pillow as a threat. When Jacob gets back to the ring stock car, Walter and Camel are gone. Later, Jacob learns that the two men were redlighted over the tressel, and he knows that as he snuck away to kill August, August had men sneaking around to kill him. Jacob does not wallow in guilt though because he knows that August has a cruel heart and that as a result, August is ultimately responsible for the men's deaths. Jacob does not go back to find the men because the train has traveled far away from the drop spot, plus he cannot afford to leave Marlena (who is pregnant) behind. Jacob hears through rumors that Camel died on impact and that Walter was badly injured and likely did not survive the night.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial