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Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants


by Sara Gruen

Courage Quotes in Water for Elephants

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"Just shut it. I don't want to hear it. You're a good kid, and I ain't about to stand by and watch you mope off 'cuz that fat old grouch don't got time. I just ain't. So have a little respect for your elders and don't give me no trouble." (4.65)

Camel reveals his courage early on by sticking up for Jacob and finding him a place on the train. Camel defends Jacob in a way that he won't be able to later for himself. This effort makes Jacob loyal to Camel and helps prolong his life.

Quote #2

There's dead silence in the room. I look around. All eyes are trained on me. 'What?' I say loudly. 'Is that so much to ask? Doesn't anyone else here miss real food? Surely you can't all be happy with this… this… pap?' I put my hand on the edge of my plate and give it a shove. (5.58)

Sometimes it takes courage just to say what's on your mind. Jacob lays it all out on the line here, declaring that the people in the home aren't getting good, "real food," and accusing those who work there of serving them "pap." How much of an effect his protest will have on the home's staff is debatable, but at least Jacob has the satisfaction of speaking his mind.

Quote #3

When the cat sees me coming, he lunges at the door. I freeze.

"What's the matter, Jacob?"

I turn around. August's face is glowing.

"You're not afraid of Rex, are you?" he continues. "He's just a widdle kitty cat." (6.208-11)

Here we get an early hint of August's personality. He's pressuring Jacob to go in and feed a lion like it's no big deal. But Jacob is brand new at the circus and doesn't have any experience with lions. August puts Jacob in danger and then teases him by saying that Rex is "just a widdle kitty cat." It takes great courage to walk into a lion's cage, but August is trying to belittle that courage.

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