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Love And Happiness In Elephants By Sarah Gruen And The Book Of Negroes By Lawrence Hill

981 words - 4 pages

Happiness is essential for one to be sane. Love leads to happiness and this is shown in the novels Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. Characters in both novels try to find happiness through love, but it ultimately leads to despair because of the death or loss of a loved one.

Happiness is fulfilled through the form of love. To begin with, Jacob has respect and love for his parents that have been there every step of his life. The Dean of the University calls Jacob into his office and Jacob fears “Dear Lord- if I get expelled now, my father will kill me. (Gruen 6)” Jacob fears that if he gets expelled from the university, that his father had put much hard work to bring Jacob there, then his father will be dissatisfied with him. Jacob’s fear of dishearten his family is a symbol that he loves his family tremendously. This also represents that his happiness is a link to the happiness of his parents and that their disappointment of him is also a disappointment of himself. Secondly, Marlene loves her husband August greatly, thus bringing her happiness. Jacob asks Marlene how is August like and Marlene replies “He’s capable of being the most charming man on earth. (95)” Marlene’s family, who are Roman Catholic, has banished her because she marries August, who is Jewish. To Marlene, the love of her family is crucial to her, but now that they create a hole of anguish inside of her, therefore she fills this hole by loving and greatly admiring August. Like the Book of Negroes, Happiness comes through the form of love and this perfectly exemplified in the how Jacob loves his parents because he fears them and Marlene loves August after her family exiles her. Afterward, Aminata falls in love with Chekura after she becomes a slave. Aminata narrates “Chekura was only able to come seem once a month…I longed for his face and his voice and the very smell of him. (Hill 159)” Aminata lives a happy life, but after she becomes a slave, all her happiness is leached from her and it brings misery in her life and she feels that this ruins her life. Afterward, she falls in love with Chekura which brings back her happiness and gives her a reason to live once again. Next, Aminata has her first child and this brings her ecstasy. Aminata explains her treatment toward her child by saying “I nursed him before he was hungry and vowed that I would never let him have a reason to cry. (183)” Due to the infrequent visits of her Chekura, Aminata finds another way to find happiness, by caring for her child. A mother’s greatest joy in life is to care for her child and the happiness of her child is linked to her happiness. Characters in the books get happiness through love, this is exemplified when Jacob fears that he will be...

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