The Elephant Vanishes and Worldviews

I really enjoyed “The Elephant Vanishes.” I think that the main message of the short story was how we, in our day-to-days lives, disregard things outside of our worldview and things that disagree with our opinions. In psychology, this is called the self-confirmation bias: “The tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs (Encyclopedia Britannica).” I think that Murakami was trying to teach us something about ourselves; we must not let our own worldviews and cemented opinions affect how interpret new evidence and phenomena. This is particularly important in our modern political climate. Both sides remember information supporting their points and disregard information contradicting it. Maybe this is just my interpretation, but I think it’s an important realization to have in our current zeitgeist.

3 thoughts on “The Elephant Vanishes and Worldviews

  1. Julien D.

    I really like your connection to self-conformation bias here. I definitely don’t think that the mans idea about the elephants disappearance connected to anyone else’s world view and know one really gave him a chance. However, in this instance, his idea is so illogical that I think it would be hard to be unbiased about it.


  2. Isaac K.

    I really liked the the bias connection that you pointed out. I did not notice this when I first read the story but I completely agree that both sides of the story are only looking for information to support their belief while ignoring contradicting information.



    I agree that the reader is left with information at the end of the story that might feel absurd but to the main character is what he saw with his own eyes. This elevates the story because it makes the reader think outside themselves.


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