Use the comment section for this post to engage in a discussion of Haruki Murakami’s short story “The Elephant Vanishes.”
To see your requirements and parameters for our discussion, see our Reading/Discussing Short Stories guidelines. Strive for a vigorous exchange, including debating differing interpretations, but always strive for mutual recognition of each other, working toward enhancing our collective understanding of the story.
Watch your period’s group presentation on the story and see the DQs below, if you are looking for inspiration.
- Can we really trust the words of the narrator?
- What does the relationship between the Elephant and Zookeeper represent?
- What really happened to the elephant at the end of the story?
- What happened to the narrator’s “balance” since the elephant’s disappearance?
- What does the story say about the relationship between balance and unity?
- How does the relationship between the zookeeper and the elephant contribute to the story? And how does their relationship contrast that of the zookeeper and other kids visiting the zoo?
- How does the narrator’s conversation with the magazine editor woman alienate himself from both her and society?
- What does the elephant symbolize?
- The ending is very abrupt and does not solve the problem. Why do you think the author ends the story like this? And how is this a reflection of the narrator’s perspective?
- What does the elephant represent to the narrator? What does the elephant represent in society?