Analysis of Circus in winter

Posted: September 3rd, 2013





Analysis of Circus in winter

The book centered on Wallace, a bachelor living in Indiana who is a good businessperson. In addition, he has a habit for traveling to New York each summer to indulge in life pleasures that the city of New York has to offer. In the year 1883, he traveled to New York during summer on his usual trips. The trip was unique because he managed to meet his soon to be wife, Irene who was the daughter of one of his bankers in New York. Upon meeting her, they hit it off immediately and after two weeks of becoming acquainted with each other they decided to get married. Upon arrival in Indiana the newly weds settle in their new home which Wallace finds unpleasant for his new bride to stay in and promises her to build her another magnificent house. He does not feel comfortable living in the house, which he considers as simple and ragged. The literature is an elaborate depiction of what can be turned from a misfortune into a fortune as indicated by the words circus in winter. Wallace intends to buy a circus after his wife’s death.

Wallace seemed not to understand what his wife needed and wanted and was instead obsessed with the new magnificent house that he intended to build his wife, Irene. Irene is frail in health because she is ailing from a disease that doctors cannot diagnose regardless of how qualified and experienced in the world of medicine. The story of Wallace and Irene is disheartening because Wallace seems not to know that his new wife has little time left to live because of her disease, which is consuming her health in a slow, but gradual pace leaving her frailer with each passing day. Here. Irene’s death was devastating for Wallace he seemed lost after Marta from the circus told him that Irene was very sick and in need of his care. Wallace understood the death of Irene as a sign that he needed to buy the circus such that he could visit far lands. The traveling would remind him of the way they had traveled with Irene aboard the train when they had been married in New York and spent countless days traveling from one city to another dining in the finest hotels and boarding in the best motels in cities that they came across during their journey. His choice to buy the circus was in honor of his wife who had longed to travel after they had gotten married. In the circus, he meets George an elephant who is frail in health with one broken tusk and another embedded with a gold knob “at the edge of the camp, elephant stood swinging hay into its mouth … .this is George the only elephant left. A good worker. Had to sell the rest. Cost too much to feed. …George‘s skin sagged from protruding bones and Porter Stroked the knobbly, Bristled hide. One ivory tusk was tipped with a gold ball, the other was broken off,” (Day, 49). While looking at the elephant’s eyes he sees empathy. Empathy might be used to mean that he sees a reflection of his acts for not having recognized early enough that his wife was sick in addition the elephant seems to resemble a large load that Wallace has to bear. This might be used in the article to represent the guilt that arises form his wife’s sicknesses and soon deceased to be wife.

Wallace during his trips to New York seemed intent on one thing, to indulge in life pleasures, this was the main reason for his traveling. He traveled to escape criticism form his townsfolk who viewed such indulgences as mere vanity and shallow behavior. After his adventures in New York, Wallace would return to Indiana full of regrets for his extravagant actions. This draws a conclusion that a human being never feels satisfied even after attaining what he considers to be fulfilling. He considers his wife as a Lady and in his town; Ladies are known to live in fine houses such as the one he intended to build for his wife.

When Irene was marrying Wallace, she believed that she would indulge in adventure by traveling to far lands and witness the beautiful scenery that the American lands had to offer. The misunderstandings between Irene and Wallace arise because the two did not give ample time for their relationship so that they could understand one another.

The relationship between the two seems to have been based on unrealistic expectations between the two. Irene was expecting adventure and fun from the trips she expected from Wallace who had introduced himself as a person who had visited almost all corners of North America with the fancy foreign words he used to charm her. “So he described the countryside: He lived outside town along the Winnesaw, the river that separated the northern and southern halves of Lima. He described his monthly travel circuit to check his stables, and again, gave her a litany of town names: Kokomo, Lafayette, Monticello… and Porter said, “You should travel west sometime and see a bit of the world.” (Day, 9) ” The literature seems to tell the audience that the things we seem to be intent on getting are far from what we should be seeking. Man seems to be full of his own desires that are sometimes material in nature and goes to any level to attain such pleasures in delusion that such pleasures will bring satisfaction both physical and more so for the soul. However, in the efforts of seeking life pleasures we encounter devastating issues that change our perspectives. Moreover, people learn form such events that seem to wake us from a slumber or a deluded state about what is important in life, which is mainly being alive and being in the presence of loved ones.

In conclusion, the literature talks of the different visions that two people might have for their marriage union. Wallace lost the chance to enjoy the pleasure that he would have accrued from journey’s with his wife while she was still of good health. In addition, his pursuit and obsession of building a mansion, which was just a mere material wealth worthless in comparison to the good times, and company that, would have been accrued form the presence of his wife. The name of the book is an irony in itself because circus is associated with making merry and being jolly while winter is a cold period. Thus, it would be sufficient to conclude that Wallace was being jolly thinking about the new life that he would create with his wife, while she was suffering inside and he did not notice early enough of the deteriorating health of his wife.


Work cited

Day, Cathy. The Circus in Winter. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004. Internet resource.


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