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The Elephant Vanishes By Murakami Analysis

Good Essays
In The Elephant Vanishes, author Haruki Murakami portrays extraordinary events as normal to his characters. The book is a collection of short stories that share common themes, yet they can be read independently since each story has a completely different plotline. Many of the stories Murakami includes in the collection have elements that are extraordinary, such as the case of a vanishing elephant or a dancing dwarf taking over the body of another man. Whether the unusual situation is scary, magical or simply strange the characters tend to react with composure and seem generally unaffected. The main character’s passive reactions to their unusual surroundings creates a dreamlike effect, where they never question the absurdity of the situations…show more content…
When reading articles on the case of the missing elephant, the protagonist finds it strange that no one is mentioning the fact that “The elephant had not escaped. It had vanished” (315). Because of what he had witnessed the night of the disappearance, it is clear to him that that is the only logical explanation. This illustrates how he does not seem to understand that it is physically impossible for a large elephant to simply disappear. Further into the story, when considering the relationship between the elephant and the caretaker, he says there was a “special warmth, the sense of trust, between them” (324). Regardless of how odd it is, the protagonist never questions this relationship and never seems to think it is out of the ordinary. He also explains that when he saw them together the day before the elephant vanished “the difference between them had shrunk” (325), suggesting that either the elephant had become smaller or the caretaker had grown. Both of these outcomes are not only extremely unlikely but also completely absurd, yet this is the only conclusion that makes sense to him. As well as the main character’s seemingly unaffected reaction to everything, another interesting aspect of this story is that the mystery of what actually happened to the elephant is never answered, leaving the reader to come up with his own
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