Water for Elephants Questions and Answers
by Sara Gruen

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What are six character traits Jacob Jankowski has in Water for Elephants?

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Jacob Jankowski is a complex character who retains the reader’s interest because of multiple contradictions in his character, so he can be said to show at least six character traits. He is presented as appealing through the traits of kindness–to animals, especially Rosie—and patience—in learning how to work with Rosie. At the same time, Jacob is selfish. But he is also generous. Those traits are closely associated with another: he is a romantic.

His friendship with Marlena turns into romance, and he begins an affair with her although he knows she is married. This betrayal of her husband, August, who had taken a paternal interest in the younger man, indicates two other related negative traits: disloyalty and dishonesty. He allows Uncle Al to believe that he is working to reunite August with Marlena, but he is involved in a sexual relationship with her.

Because he is a veterinarian, other characters think he is a doctor. When called upon to treat the elderly infirm Camel, Jacob not only...

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