“The Elephant Vanishes” is a short story written by Haraki Murakami. Personally, I really enjoyed reading this story, however it left me feeling extremely unsettled. One of the key factors to this story that drew me in is the fact that I wanted to know what happened to this mysterious elephant. As soon as the narrator started talking about the news article where the elephant went missing with no trace as to how it disappeared, I was entranced. While I continued to read, I was on the edge of my seat anticipating the big reveal of what truly happened, with a sudden twist in the story that none of us were expecting. But, that never came. In many of the previous stories we had read, there was a science fiction twist to them, always creating a sense of unknown and an unlimited amount of possible explanations. So, with this in the back of my mind, I was waiting for some unexpected explanation to occur.
While I understand that leaving the readers with such a cliffhanger was very intentional, and even may add to the story in so many ways, I was very bothered with it. As someone who does not like the unknown, and is constantly trying to figure out more information, this was a very unsettling ending for me. Not only were we left not really having any information about the author besides his interest in the elephant, but we also have absolutely no understanding of what truly happened to the elephant. What started off as a curiosity about this strange, mysterious creature, quickly turned into anger about how we will not ever realize how the elephant escaped. Was the elephant even real? Physically how did any of this make any sense? And I suppose we will never know.