Water for Elephants Questions and Answers
by Sara Gruen

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What are two effects that Rosie had on the characters in the novel?

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Rosie the elephant is so central to the novel that she is as much a character as the humans are. She has especially strong effects on Jacob and August.

Jacob, who treats Rosie and the other animals, has the most opportunity to learn from her; in fact, they learn together. August, who is impatient and insensitive, does not manage to learn much from her. Unfortunately for him, he does not believe she has anything valuable to impart. The direct effect she has on him is death because he could not learn the consequences of his bad behavior. More generally, it is clear that Sara Gruen wants the reader to understand the value of the knowledge that animals possess and the ways it resembles human intelligence.

Jacob studied veterinary...

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