The Elephant Man Essay

The Elephant Man Essay

Length: 1393 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Elephant Man


John Merrick, a man so pathetic and helpless because of the curse of his extremely disfigured body he carries around with him. Lots of people are born with some deformity or another, but none such as the case of John Merrick, in other words, ‘The Elephant Man’ who was given this name because he was so deformed he resembled an extremely ugly elephant. The movie shows how John Merrick is marginalized not only by the general public, but also the poorest of people to such an extent that his life was a misery. This movie shows how cynical people can be towards fellow human beings. His abnormalities did not even allow him to take a walk in the garden by day light as the common society looked at him with complete disgust. Although John suffers much, he manages to win a few hearts with the help of his ‘friend’, Dr. Frederick Treves, and when he was content with his life he commits suicide.

     In this story the darker side of society is witnessed and their utterly cynical behaviour is practiced on John, for one reason only – he does not look like any other normal human being. It is seen how the general public reacts in the very beginning of the movie, when Mr. Bytes presents him in the carnival just like an animal would be presented in front of an audience in a circus. In addition to this injustice Mr. Bytes brutally beats him which further disfigures him and then calls him as a ‘freak’. When Dr. Treves takes John to the hospital, a dispute brakes out whether he should be allowed to stay in the hospital, for no other reason, but only because he was so ugly. In one part of the movie it is shown how one nurse is upset with another nurse because the latter had her involved in the care of John Merrick which she did not like, because he was so ugly that it scared her. Amongst all the negative people in John Merrick’s life, the night porter who in one part of the movie refers to himself as ‘Sunny Jim’ is the most cynical character in the entire story. His vile and selfish behavior tempted him to earn an extra income at John Merrick’s expense. He would take money from people and expose them to John, where the women would look at him with awe and fear while the men literally played around with him as if he were nothing but some broken toy. It is noticed how John was marginalized even by the lowest of classes even thought they themselves were amon...


... middle of paper ...


...rson on a bed, which he was not supposed to because of his head being too large, which in turn would kill him. Yet he decided to sleep like a normal person, so he arranged his bed and went into the blanket and slept…forever. He committed suicide.

     ‘The Elephant Man’ is what John Merrick is referred to due to his physical abnormality which was close to that of an elephant. John had lots of people in his life that looked at him with an evil, selfish and cynical eye thus marginalizing him to the extreme. Due to his pathetic and out of place facial features he was not accepted by society thus he was always indoors unable to have an independent life. Besides all of this John still achieved some happiness with the help of Dr. Treves who helped him to gain the hearts of many people and when he felt that he had lived his life to his heart’s content he committed suicide. John Merrick went down in history books as a legend, because he led a life of extremes, which was filled with sorrow, but happiness towards the end of his life. When he was tired of being pushed around and had achieved sufficient love and happiness he slept to his death thus ending the curse of ‘The Elephant Man’.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Bernard Pomerance and the Elephant Man

- Bernard Pomerance and the Elephant Man Bernard Pomerance was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended college at the University of Chicago, where he received a degree in English. In the 1970's Pomerance moved to London, England to become a novelist. He was unsuccessful and then decided to try his hand as a dramatist. He quickly got involved with several left-wing fringe groups, which where at the time thriving in England. Then, along with director Ronald Rees, he founded the Foco Nove Theater group....   [tags: Elephant Man Essays]

Powerful Essays
2217 words (6.3 pages)

Essay about Shooting an Elephant and The Man Who Would Be King

- Moral Authority and the Ultimate Fate of Imperialism The 1800’s staged the universal dissemination and climax of British imperialism, thereby destructing and reconstructing the world into a new order. It is ordinary to depict the British as overindulgent consumerists, and the natives as magnanimous servers of the Empire, though history suggests that imperialism was not a mere black and white affair. It is certain that imperialism unjustly exhausted global resources and is therefore deserving of its condemnation....   [tags: Shooting an Elephant Essays]

Powerful Essays
2534 words (7.2 pages)

Essay The Elephant Man

- For everyone life is already hard enough. All anyone wants is to be accepted and to feel cared about but when you are unfortunately born with deformities life is a hundred times harder. According to his play The Elephant man Bernard Pomerance believes that society will shun those with deformities until they take the time to actually get to know them. John was a man shunned by society because he simply didn’t look like everyone else. He was born with a serious case of Elephantitis and was said to look like a monster....   [tags: Literature Analysis]

Powerful Essays
608 words (1.7 pages)

Social Rejection in the Film The Elephant Man Essay

- The Elephant Man is a moving film, based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a man born with a prevalent deformity and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this film, John Merrick is initially portrayed as an imbecile and is consequently placed in a circus freak show, where he is ridiculed as a result of his deformity and is abused by his manager. However, his life takes a turn for the better when he becomes acquainted with Dr. Treves and is introduced to a new lifestyle, dissimilar to what he had endured throughout his life....   [tags: prevalent, deformity, death, church, bag]

Powerful Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Elephant Man Essay

- Ashley Montagu tells John Merrick’s unusual story in the book that studies human dignity, The Elephant Man. The Elephant Man, an intriguing book that captures the heart of the spirit, is the story of a simple, yet unfortunate, man. It causes one to think about life’s precious gifts and how often they are taken for granted. As the sad and unique story of John Merrick, “the elephant man,'; unfolds, all are taught a lesson about strength and courage. When Sir Frederick Treeves first discovered John Merrick in 1884, he could only be described as, “a huddled mass of loneliness';(14)....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Elephant Man Essay examples

- Elephant Man The Elephant Man, written by Bernard Pomerance, is a play about identity. It is a play about a man who is deformed, but constantly trying to live life as an ordinary person. The play begins with John Merrick, also known as the Elephant Man, performing in a carnival freak show in order to make a minute amount of money for living expenses. In Scene VI, Even on the Niger and Ceylon, Not This, Treves brings in Miss Sandwich to become Merricks nurse. He explains to her that he has been let down so far by the other nurses he has introduced to Merrick....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
440 words (1.3 pages)

George Orwell 's An Elephant Killed A Man Essays

- George Orwell was a police officer who was hated by many people just for being European. One day he called to investigate an elephant that was tearing through the bazaar. By the time he tracked it down the elephant had killed a man, among other things. Followed by a large crowd he found the elephant peacefully eating grass outside of the village. Suddenly George Orwell faced a tough decision. He knew he shouldn’t kill the elephant but was afraid if he didn’t he would be laughed at and hated more than he already was....   [tags: High school, Secondary school, Jennifer Aniston]

Powerful Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about A Comparison of Dorian Gray and The Elephant Man

- Dorian Gray compared to The Elephant Man At the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Basil paints a portrait of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel, Dorian is viewed and is treated by the world as art. As art, Dorian is constantly changed by the influences of his different artists. The most influential and main artist of Dorian is Lord Henry. Lord Henry corrupts Dorian into a vain, selfish, arrogant, hedonistic, and cruel man. A similar artist to art relation exists between Mr....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

Comparing Evil in The Elephant Man, Romeo and Juliet, and Let the Circle Be Unbroken

- Comparing the Evil Exposed in Christine Sparks' The Elephant Man, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Mildred Taylor's Let the Circle Be Unbroken       "Evil is the underlying element in the life of a living creature." This quotation, by Ray V. Sjorvek, expresses the idea that all living creatures contain a certain degree of evil inside themselves. In literature, protagonists usually express their sinister sides through words or actions when trying to prove the point that one's hidden emotions cannot be concealed....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
980 words (2.8 pages)

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 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....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
2138 words (6.1 pages)