Water for Elephants: illusion and expectation

August tells Jacob, “The whole thing’s illusion, Jacob, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what people want from us. It’s what they expect.”

Is it true, that there’s nothing wrong with that? Is illusion really what people want and expect from a circus? As the novel progresses, what role does illusion play, both in and out of the circus? What about illusion and the reader?

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