Elephant by R. Carver

Let’s get to know the writer

Carver, Raymond

Biography

Here a link to the story ELEPHANT

Reading Questions (discuss with your partner)

  1. What kind of metaphorical meaning do we get from the story’s title?
  2. What is the narrator’s dependence or addiction?
  3. What pattern of the narrator’s pathological behavior becomes evident on page 476?
  4. How much threat is there when he says he’s going away to Australia? None because everyone knows he’s a junkie giver, an enabler.
  5. What is dangerous about enablers such as the narrator?
  6. Why can’t an enabler like the narrator “just say no” and establish boundaries with people?
  7. In addition to giving or “loaning” people money, what other kinds of enabling behavior do we see?
  8. How does being a martyr feed the narrator’s ego?
  9. What is the bitter and ironic truth about enabling others?
  10. What are the qualities of symbiosis?
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