Central Characters as Outsiders in Society in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and the Elephant Man

Central Characters as Outsiders in Society in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and the Elephant Man

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Central Characters as Outsiders in Society in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and the Elephant Man Both films there are many similarities and differences
between the directive strategies of Directors David Lynch and Steven
Spielberg although it should be remembered that there is a theory that
all stories derive from six basic plots.

The directors have chosen characters that compare with the general
feeling of the period for the two similar plots. Spielberg in ET
developed a plot creating and using a modern day fairy tale whilst
David Lynch creates his plot in Elephant Man with a more credible
scenario by using a historic figure, John Merrick. In Victorian times
disfigured people were at the bottom of society whereas if John
Merrick had been placed in the 1970's he would have received greater
sympathy which would not have been the affect that David Lynch sought
to convey.

During the opening of ET there is an apparently insignificant but
important scene. ET bends down to grab a plant as the camera moves
slightly to the right, showing a rabbit which is clearly comfortable
with this 'outsider' being there. Spielberg uses the concept of a
rabbit's instinct to show that ET is a harmless creature. As the
authorities arrive ET is left behind, on earth and Spielberg closes
the scene with a long-shot of the city. He has chosen to use this in
order to illustrate the notion that ET is but a small spec in the big
wide world.

As The Elephant Man film opens the music changes, creating an
atmosphere of joy with traditional circus music...


... middle of paper ...


... rules by which these deformed figures
were treated.) Lynch has also tended to use small spaces (rooms etc.)
perhaps relating them to the small lonely world that John was
subjected to endure.

Have the Directors been successful? I think they have. It is not easy
to come to such a blunt conclusion, as the directors have used many
comparably different techniques to bring there characters across
although taking many similar routes along the way.

On personal preference I found The Elephant Man to be the more epic of
the two. I felt the ending was magical as John Merrick chose to end
his life upon the drug that euphoria creates rather than subject
himself to the possibilities of the hurt he has already experienced.
Barber's Adagio for Strings captures the atmosphere perfectly,
possibly bringing the audience to tears.

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