An Elephant Crackup By Charles Siebert

1545 Words7 Pages
If you’re not paying attention, the mind can be a tricky labyrinth. The less you know about it, the more inexplicable and frightening it becomes. For example, why do seemingly benign elephants wreak havoc upon villages? In “An Elephant Crackup,” Charles Siebert explores the aberrant nature of these elephants and correlates them to their traumatizing upbringing, deprived of community and kinship. The biochemistry of the human mind, analyzed in Love 2.0 by Barbara Frederickson, serves as a worthy addendum to Siebert’s conjecture. Love 2.0 explains that the brain, hormones, and nerves work in unison to build emotional fortitude, stimulate oneself, and express positivity resonance. Siebert’s ideas of elephant culture and trans-species psyche…show more content…
Not only do they lack an elder community to guide them, but their absence of the oxytocin hormone can allow the stress hormone, cortisol, to overwhelm them and govern the rest their behavior throughout their upbringing. This pent-up stress can result in cathartic bursts of violence from these frustrated mammals, as Siebert points out that elephants can “exhibit behavior typically associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders in humans” (Siebert 356). The average human child is expected to be treated with proper parental care and interaction, producing a healthy amount of oxytocin throughout their childhood. However, it is difficult to expect an orphan to embrace the same calm demeanor as a regular child, lacking significant levels of oxytocin. This is exactly the plight of the collapsing elephant culture; for the elephants, this is the method to their madness. It is already not so simple to understand elephant quirks and behaviors. It might be even more difficult to imagine a human “parent” for an elephant, but Frederickson assures that “neural synchrony and overlap can also unfold between you and a complete stranger – if you let it” (Frederickson 114). This suggests that it is entirely possible to establish an intimate connection with one who is not biologically related to you, or even a complete stranger you have no historical ties to. This idea can be directly
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