Water for Elephants Water for Elephants question

Does Mr. Jankowski really run away with the circus?
Alana Alana Jun 14, 2012 10:32PM
I haven't seen the film version of this yet, so I don't know how they interpreted it, but based solely on the book, is there merit to thinking that either Mr. Jankowski really does manage to "run away with the circus" at the end, or that his already slipping mind finally settles on an idea that lets him escape the confines of his nursing home where he doesn't even remember his family members and lets him live out his past in a new dream until he eventually passes away?

deleted member Jul 10, 2012 02:27AM   0 votes
Although I love the idea of him leaving with the circus, I still prefer to that cliffhanger on that story.

I'm curious if a re-read would yield clues supporting the mind-slipping theory. Love those treats!

I love the thought of him running away to the circus and will continue to believe he did. But, I also think it would be a lovely ending to his life if this were a description of his death. That is not sad, death is a part of life. This would be him exiting through the most alive part of his time here.

Stephanie Burns As he put it he did not run away he came home :)
Oct 05, 2012 08:02AM · flag

He ran away... no question... Brought a joyful tear to my eye.

I read the book befote I saw the movie. I'd like to think he actually ran away with the circus. Wasn't there a comment about odd jobs he could do?

That's a really good question. I never thought of it that way. I interpreted it as him actually running away with the circus, but only because he is invited directly to stay. At least I think that's what happened--it's been a while.

Is there any difference? Jorge Luis Borges says that our mind is made out of three mayor parts: memories, oblivion and imagination. The last one, I guess, is the prism from which you view your life.
So, following this line of thinking I may guess that wherever he is, he is happy...:)

From what I read in the book, he did manage to escape the nursing home and run away with the circus. I loved that part. Unfortunately, that was about the only part of the book that I loved. It was by far the most depressing book I've ever read. I am so, SO glad I am not a member of a traveling circus in 1931 - it was a horrible experience for both people and animals. I will NEVER see the movie, no matter how much of a fan of Reese Witherspoon I am.

F 25x33
Intuitive XXplorer What about the slew of WW2 books out there?
Sep 26, 2012 09:38AM · flag

I read the book before seeing the movie and I thought he joined the circus in the end.

The only part of this book I did not like was the ending. Too unrealistic.

I also haven't seen the film version yet, but it warmed my heart to think that he did run away with the circus and didn't stay in that nursing home where he was not happy. Mr. Jankowski deserved to be where his heart was.

Oh wow, I pictured him running away. That's an interesting theory. I also haven't seen the movie yet, so I wonder what they would show. Haha, I must see this movie tonight! :D

I truly hope he did.

Mr Jankowski did run away with the circus, he was not destined to languish in a nursing home! I believe the ending of the book is the true ending and not open to second guessing... happily ever after! Why do people a problem witn a good ending?

I'm sure that he actually does run away from the circus only because he talks about retelling his past to that man he met. I would think it was all in his head if he had not mentioned the man whom he told his past to because it'd be doubtful he could make up a whole person and recollect rosemary. Rosemary is one of the reasons he runs away because she is leaving so yes he does really run away.

I too felt that he did indeed run away with the circus. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Wow, great question! I prefer to believe that he did actually did get to "run away with the circus" but your idea of him living his past in a dream sounds like a more plausible ending.

Of course he did! Go Mr. Jankowski :)

looks like he did run away at the end. i was glad for him myself. he was unhappy in the nursing home. might as well die where he will be happy.

I still haven't seen the film, but I like to think that he did literally run away with the circus. It's a nice idea.

I'd also like to think that he actually ran away with the circus and is happy but I do believe that he has run away in his mind to escape the dark and dreary corners of his nursing home. He has run away in his dreams, day dreams and sleep.

back to top