An Analysis of Universal and Timeless aspects of Literature in
Slawomir Mrozek’s The Elephant and Deborah Ellis’ Looks like Daylight:
Voice of Indigenous Kids
Ms. Nadine Fearon
October 1, 2018
Realities that define much of human consciousness in every age while exploring the depth of human existence to allow one to transcend everyday life by seeking to understand human past, present and future create a strong connection between a reader and a story. In the short stories entitled The Elephant and Looks like Daylight: Voice of Indigenous Kids respectively written by, Slawomir Mrozek and Deborah Ellis many universal issues are explored through the use of a variety of themes and literary conventions, making it debatable as to whether or not these short stories are universal and timeless. Although there are aspects within these works that limit the universality and timelessness of the short stories, there is more evidence proving that these texts effectively convey perennial stories and messages. Both authors similarly fail in choosing a genre that will effectively convey the universal messages within their texts. On the other hand, in both The Elephant and Looks like Daylight: Voice of Indigenous Kids, the authors utilize the theme of power and corruption to showcase its presence in human behavior of every generation. Likewise, Mrozek and Ellis use the theme of innocence as a point of common vulnerability between the reader and the characters emphasizing the timeless nature of the texts. Through the use of these themes, the authors are able to convey powerful messages that transcend universal and timeless aspects of society, by commenting on human behavior.
A text’s genre choice is the fundamental building block that sets the tone for the text, influencing the reader’s understanding and engagement of the work. The satirical allegory, The Elephant begins by setting the tone of the text by introducing the main character; the selfish director of the zoo, “The director of the Zoological Gardens had shown himself to be an upstart. He regarded his animals simply as stepping stones on the road of his own career. He was indifferent to the educational importance of his establishment.” (The Elephant Slawomir 103). At first glance, the director of the Zoological Gardens simply seems to be a selfish man that is invested in improving his career. However, the meaning behind this character is much more significant. One who understands the cultural and contextual background, in which this text is written, will have a better understanding of the symbolism found throughout the text. At the surface level, The Elephant is a simple story about how a polish zoo director attempts to cut costs by fabricating an elephant, rather than adding a real elephant to the Zoo’s collection. However, at a metaphorical level, The Elephant is a satirical allegory, aimed at the communist government that controlled Poland during the t...