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For example, the article used such expressions as ‘the elephant escaped’ but if you looked at the entire piece it became obvious that the elephant had in no way ‘escaped.’ It had vanished into thin air.”

With the peculiar disappearance of the town elephant, the main character becomes almost obsessed with the event. There is no explanation of why or how the elephant and its keeper vanished except one that seems mystical and otherworldly. Later in the story, the main character explains how he watched the elephant every day from a cliff near the enclosure. On the day before the elephant is discovered to be missing, the main character describes a change in size of the elephant. It was almost as if the elephant “for one reason or another, shrunk” (464).

In the Buddha religion, an elephant can symbolize good luck. Maybe the elephant in this story shows that luck is a very fleeting thing and that one must not rely on it too often. Luck is something that is common but very hard to explain. Many people see luck as God helping them and others see it as the universe positively working for them. Whatever one’s belief, luck can “vanish” very much like the elephant in this story. The size of the elephant getting smaller and smaller can be symbolism for luck running out for a person after they relied on it too much.

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