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At The Circus: Under The Gaze Of A Cat

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Chapter Summary

The star circus animal of Water for Elephants is a bull elephant named Rosie. At one point in the novel we are given a detailed description of her act. By the early 1920s, according to Robert Hough, Mabel Stark had the best known "cat act" in the American circus. The embracing power of the animal is repeatedly emphasized. Speaking of "horsemanship at the highest levels," Hearne writes that "nothing short of the tremendous artistic task of training them in such a fashion that they can be released from time could ever justify our interfering with their greater serenity, our imposing our stories and our deathly arithmetics on their coherent landscapes".

Keywords: Hearne; Mabel Stark; Robert Hough; Rosie; star circus

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