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How, for example, did he learn to speak so well and eloquently?
This extreme misfortune caused With the help of his new friend Frederick Treeves, he even attended plays and went for walks.I kept asking myself what the film was really trying to say about the human condition as reflected by John Merrick, and I kept drawing blanks.The film's philosophy is this shallow: (1)Wow, the Elephant Man sure looked hideous, and (2)gosh, isn't it wonderful how he kept on in spite of everything?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.It could have bluntly dealt with the degree of Merrick's inability to relate to ordinary society, as in Werner Herzog's Kaspar Hauser.Instead, it makes him noble and celebrates his nobility.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).The Elephant Man forces me to question this position on two grounds: first, on the meaning of Merrick's life, and second, on the ways in which the film employs it.It is conventional to say that Merrick, so hideously misformed that he was exhibited as a sideshow attraction, was courageous. But there is a distinction here that needs to be drawn, between the courage of a man who chooses to face hardship for a good purpose, and the courage of a man who is simply doing the best he can, under the circumstances.