It’s a little bit difficult to decide whether Jacob is a protagonist or antagonist role in this book. Young Jacob had a perfect family until accident took away his parents, as the only son, he was so overwhelmed by this loss; he couldn’t decide how he’s going to live his life. Circus change the naive Jacob to be Jacob the brave and kind-hearted gentleman.
He proved that he can survive in wild life of circus world. He was a best and honorable friend that someone can rely on especially when he tried to protect Camel form throw from the train. He also adapt fast when finally he made friend with Kinko. Although he did not graduate yet as a veterinarian, but his skills is reliable. His compassionate love to all animal – especially Rosie, the dumb elephant – touch everyone exclusively Marlena, the performer. With some clues finally he found out that Rosie could not understand English at all because she usually trained by Polish language.
After meeting Marlena, Jacob can deny that he has feeling for her despite the fact that she was already married. I’m not going to preach here about he should not kiss Marlena and made her crazy lovely husband angry – and turn out he is really crazy (schizophrenia) – but there is always something wrong by loving other man’s wife. But the writer made an easy way out for Jacob and Marlena when August dead in a chaos of animals rage.
In summary, I like this character because despite his sorrow he finally can move on and struggle with a new life. Although it was not easy in the beginning but he keep struggle and struggle to make his life easier and happier. He made some mistakes but lucky enough he had a new family that could support him until the rest of his life. Sadly, his children and grandchildren abandoned him but there is always a hope of a happy ending for someone who braves enough to hope and fight for it.