Study Guide

Water for Elephants Chapter 5

By Sara Gruen

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Chapter 5

  • Jacob wakes up in the nursing home, back in his elderly shell. He tries to keep the nurse, Rosemary, from seeing that he was crying.
  • Our guy is totally crotchety, but the nurse pushes him to eat, saying that the circus will be in town the next day.
  • Jacob hangs out by the window so he can see the circus being constructed. It looks slicker than he remembers, but he doubts the artists are as good. He watches as the other people from the home go down to investigate.
  • Later that day, he's taken down to dinner. He throws a fit and refuses to be placed at his usual seat, with McGuinty there. Instead, he insists on sitting by himself.
  • He can hear the others talking about the circus and he gets super mad. He even picks a fight with one of the nurses, demanding a better meal than the gross stuff they've served him. Out of frustration, he pushes his food off the table. Man, this guy is not happy.
  • The doctors and nurses whisper about him: they think he's depressed and force him to take a new medication. Jacob doesn't want to take it, but he doesn't really have a choice.
  • Jacob is powerless and angry, and the medicine makes him weak and sleepy again.

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