Where did the Elephant go?

After reading a story called ‘The Elephant Vanishes’ I was very disappointed to learn I wouldn’t be given an explanation for the elephants vanishing! I was expecting an explanation to the mystery that would impress me, that I wouldn’t have seen coming.

Only after thinking about the story as a whole did I begin to make my own conclusions about the broader implications of the story and subsequently why the elephant disappeared. In the beginning of the story, the town is in disagreement on whether or not the elephant should be kept. While eventually comprise is made and the elephant is kept, the narrator believes that the disagreement caused an unbalance. The night before the elephant disappeared, the narrator claims that the elephant and its keeper’s “balance seemed to have changed somewhat.”

While I would not believe that a feeling of unbalance causes an elephant to disappear, I do believe it to be significant for the narrator. I believe the narrator uses the elephants vanishing as a way to explain his own feelings towards the world. The narrator tells us, “I often get the feeling that things around me have lost their proper balance, though it could be that my perceptions are playing tricks on me.” Whether or not balance is the reason for the elephants vanishing, it allows the narrator to recognize the balance of his own life, and I believe that can be a powerful realization for an individual.

3 thoughts on “Where did the Elephant go?

  1. Nate H

    I definitely agree with you, I believe that balance in one’s life is very significant to one’s wellbeing. Without balance, there is tension at the very least and very likely conflict. I think this dilemma is depicted quite well by the elephant situation.


  2. Ben K

    Balance is definitely an interesting concept to think about in terms of events, vivid or vague in someone’s life. I think it’s interesting how the author uses such a long-winded metaphor to communicate this idea, but I think you are right that the elephant is more of a vehicle to communicate an idea about balance and imbalance. That being said, it is still interesting to think where the elephant might have went…


  3. CADEN P

    I agree with the balance from events to then ones life. I also agree with the fact that there isn’t really a ending to the main aspect of the story which is the elephant vanishing. Not being able to have the ending and no explanation of how the elephant is important. Because the story is about the balance from the person and the elephant and then for it to disappear and so long the person and the town forgot just like nothing and it causes a little bit of confusion.


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