Water for Elephants
How we cite our quotes:
I grab a plate and scoop up a mountain of potatoes, eggs, and sausages, trying to keep from looking desperate. The scent is overwhelming. I open my mouth, inhaling deeply – it's like manna from heaven. It is manna from heaven. (3.60)
In hard times, even the simplest things can be worthy of admiration. "Potatoes, eggs, and sausages" may not sound that exciting, but for someone on the verge of starving, it's "overwhelming." Jacob may sound like he's exaggerating, but during the Depression, encountering such bounty would indeed be "like [seeing] manna from heaven."
"Auggie says you're a vet." At the sound of his name, August spins around.
"No," I say. "I mean, not exactly."
"He's being modest," says August. (6.26-28)
Here, other people's admiration of Jacob's veterinary training gets him a job and enables him to keep it. Even though Jacob is trying to remain "modest" and tell the truth (that he's a couple tests away from being an official vet), that doesn't matter much to the circus people. Let's not forget, they're all about "illusion" (7.204) anyway. The buzz that a Cornell-educated vet will bring to the circus is more than enough for Uncle Al.
Her windsail of an ear moves forward and then back, and the trunk returns. I touch it tentatively, and then stroke it. I am entirely enamored, and so engrossed that I don't see August until he comes to an abrupt stop in front of me. (10.137)
Jacob's early admiration of Rosie is already setting the foundation for his love for her. This isn't that different from the way his feelings about Marlena grow – from admiration very quickly to love. But unlike in his relationship with Marlena, Jacob can touch Rosie when he wants to (within reason) and doesn't have to hide his affection or worry about the repercussions.