Question about Water for Elephants (spoilers)

Please use spoiler boxes.

Question about Water for Elephants (and sorry if it’s been addressed, but I’m not going sift through 5 pages of “Whatcha Readin’ [Name of Month]?” to see).

The Reader’s Guide and some other sources talk about how Gruen intended Jacob’s story to parallel or refer to the biblical Jacob’s story. Other than

Rachel running off with the household idols/Marlena running off with the household elephant

I don’t really see the parallels or references. I liked the novel, but this assertion strikes me as only weakly supported. I certainly didn’t see it, and don’t even after checking that my recollection of the biblical Jacob was accurate (which it was). Thanks.

Here’s a cite with some info, including a response from the author (apparently). SPOILERS IN THE LINK!

I agree with you: Weak, and ISTM that the parallels are not in the matter of anything important in the Biblical Jacob’s story.