Elephant by Dolly Clark
-An analysis and interpretation
The main character of the short story, “Elephant” by Dolly Clark, is called William. William is an author just like his namesake William Shakespeare. But only the name and their profession bind these two persons together. Because although William is an author he is not quite as magnificent an author as the famous Shakespeare was it. In fact he is just a biographer who is “writing £1.99 stories for the record shops”. William does not seem happy with his life and he struggles with problems such as getting words down on his paper which is quite a course for an author. But in the trivial world of William one great memory, of a gift from his mother, lights up. Just like the one special biography, about Christine, lights up in his bookshelf.
The story starts in Medias res. William is at home gathered by a “pile of notes and facts”. As it is explained, by the third person narrator, the house is “quiet” and William is home alone with his work. He seems frustrated and the work does not joy him. This tendency is exemplified by this quote from the beginning of the text: “This inability to write a word had gone for weeks. His own adage that writing was 99 percent about commitment not inspiration had not helped him shift a single page in all that time”. Furthermore we are getting the wife of William to know. She is the second character of the story but we do not get to know much about her. She participates in quite a small part of the story. She calls William to tell him that she will be home in twenty minutes to make love with him. After the act of love the couple is having a short dialogue followed by the wife’s disappearance. Although the wife of William is not described into every detail her action and behavior do tell the reader a lot about their relationship. First of all the fact that she bails from work to make love to her husband shows us that the relationship between the two individuals are greatly...
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