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Love Quotes in Water for Elephants

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Although there are times I'd give anything to have her back, I'm glad she went first. Losing her was like being cleft down the middle. It was the moment it all ended for me, and I wouldn't have wanted her to go through that. Being the survivor stinks. (1.99)

Jacob loves Marlena so much that he's "glad she went first"; he wants to protect her from being alone the way he is. It seems to him that it would be less painful to disappear than to suffer through that. (Also, check out how he uses the same phrase to describe the feeling of losing Marlena as he does to describe August's brutal murder: what's up with that?)

Quote #2

I'm marveling and not just a little unnerved at her stoic reaction when a strange noise rises from her throat. It's followed by a moan, and next thing I know she's bawling. She doesn't even try to wipe the tears that slide down her cheeks, just stands hugging her arms with shoulders heaving, gasping for breath. She looks like she's going to collapse in on herself. (7.131)

Marlena is so unhappy here because her beloved horse is dying. Shouldn't this be a "Suffering" quote? Marlena is "stoic" at first, but then she "moan[s]," starts "bawling," and then "gasping for breath." Sure sounds like suffering to us, but this is suffering at the hands of love. The two feelings often go together; without experiencing such strong love, she wouldn't experience such strong pain.

Quote #3

Sometimes, when I'm in bed, I close my eyes and remember the look – and especially the feel – of a woman's naked body. Usually it's my wife's, but not always. I was completely faithful to her. Not once in more than sixty years did I stray, except in my imagination, and I have a feeling she wouldn't have minded that. She was a woman of extraordinary understanding. (8.45)

This may not be the most passionate quotation, but it's a quiet expression of love. To be "completely faithful" to someone for "more than sixty years" is a huge commitment. Odds are, there's a lot of love there after sixty years. And to say that your wife had "extraordinary understanding" is pretty high praise.

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