Elephant: Horror Fiction and William

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Elephant of Polly Clark

Imagine a world without dreams; would it not be empty and meaningless? This is the big question for many people. No one can live without dreams; you have to strive for something in life otherwise your life is boring and uneventful. If your dream never succeeds, you often isolate yourself. It is like living in a box, an empty box, where everything is the same. William, the main character in “Elephant”, deals with this problem every day. Polly Clark’s short story Elephant starts in media res, we just jump straight into the story without further information. The story takes place in a dark office in the main character, William’s house and it is set in a normal afternoon in William’s life. The curtains are closed, so William cannot watch his garden, which is overcrowded and boring. The garden reminds him off the things he has not done. He is isolated in his office and does not go anywhere. The story is told by a 3rd person narrator, but the narrator tells a lot of things through William’s thoughts and therefore it is easy to identify yourself with William. The narrator tells the story in a way that makes you feel sorry for William, because of his problems. William is a writer, who writes biographies about pop-singers, but he has had some problem in writing lately: “This inability to write a word had gone on for weeks” (p.2 line 3-4). William is not happy about just writing about pop-singers. He dreams about writing biographies of actors in their golden age, because this is something people would buy and read, but those biographies have been claimed by someone, who was quicker than William and that is, why William is writing short biographies with information he has found on the internet: “... from the facts William could glean from the internet.”(p.1 line 21). He uses the biographies as an excuse for not striving for his dream of becoming a big writer, who writes about the things he wants. William is not pleased about just writing about...
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