Marlena Rosenbluth

Marlena Rosenbluth

    Water for Elephants
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… an orphan, passed around from home to home. Marlena was never particularly attached to one place. Then, the circus came to town. She met August Rosenbluth and fell in love with him almost instantly. They married and Marlena has been travelling with the Benzini Brothers Circus ever since.

Living… on the road, as part of the Benzini Brothers Circus during the Great Depression era. Times are tough. Many circuses have gone belly up and August will do anything to make sure the Benzini Brothers don’t meet the same fate. According to Marlena, “everybody works until they’re run into the ground. Nobody stops, nobody dies until August says so.”

Profession… performer. She is the Benzini Brothers’ star attraction, trained by August himself. Marlena and her horses can amaze like no other. She mesmerizes audiences with her skill, grace, and professionalism. With the addition of Rosie the elephant, Marlena stands to bring in more money for the circus than any other act has before.

Interests… taking care of her animals. Marlena has a soft spot for her fellow performers. While August treats them akin to slaves, his wife tries to ensure that Rosie and the horses live as comfortable as possible.   

Relationship Status… married to August Rosenbluth, but their relationship is tainted by his possessive and jealous nature. Marlena loves her husband, so she puts up with the occasional violent spat. Sometimes though, his harshness towards her is just too much to handle, and Marlena wonders if she would be better off without August.  

Challenge… deciding which way to go. Marlena has never pictured a life in which she was not August’s wife, until Jacob Jankowski comes along. The kind-hearted young vet seems quite taken by her and Marlena can feel herself responding to his affections. She must control herself though. If August finds out, she and Jacob will be in serious trouble.  

Personality… gentle, dutiful, and, ethereal. Marlena is a star in every sense of the word. As a performer, she shines, dazzling audiences with her talent and commitment. As a wife, she is even more devoted, tending to August’s many moods and whims with warmth and compassion.


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