The Elephant Man. by Bernard Pomerance. Full Length Play, Drama / 6m, 2f. John Merrick is a horribly deformed young man – victim of rare skin and bone. Super Short Summary. Joseph Merrick is a freak show attraction because he is severely deformed. Doctor Frederick Treves takes him into the London hospital. The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed.
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As a horribly disfigured young man, John lived most of his incredibly short life of 28 years as a freak attraction at traveling side-shows until he came to the attention of Frederick Treves, a surgeon at London Hospital, who thankfully took him under his wing giving him an education, an introduction to society and a place to call home.
Reading this sad play, learning how John spent his days, why he rlephant lay down or speak clearly led me to do a bit of research on John’s life that brought to light discrepancies in the play, but made for a memorable and touching read.
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Ths horribly deformed young man, who has been a freak attraction in traveling side shows, is found abandoned and helpless and is admitted for observation elephanh Whitechapel, a prestigious London hospital. Under the care of a elephabt young doctor, who educ “The Elephant Man” is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Under the care of a famous young doctor, who educates him and introduces him to London society, Merrick changes from a sensational object of pity to the urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati.
But his belief that he can become a man like any other is a dream never to be realized. Paperback72 pages. Published January 19th by Grove Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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What were the intentions of Pomerance in writing this play? I see about 3 books with the same title that are all classics; which do I read? See 2 questions about The Elephant Man…. Lists with This Book. Nov 08, Beverly rated it it was amazing. Beautiful, brilliant and moving, The Elephant Man play by Bernard Pomerance is a sensitive look into John Merrick’s mind, what his thoughts and feelings might have been.
A man trapped in a hideously deformed body, he never showed his anger or despair to others, only his doctor starts to understand the man behind the mask. Women, little understood either, can sympathize. A famous actress, Mrs. I am convinced they women are the key to Beautiful, brilliant and moving, The Elephant Man play by Bernard Pomerance is a sensitive look into John Merrick’s mind, what his thoughts and feelings might have been. I am convinced they women are the key to retrieving him from his exclusion.
Though, I must warn you, women are not quite real to himmore creatures of his imagination. Then he is already like other men, Mr. So I thought, an actress could help. Elephanf mean, unlike most women, you don’t give in, you are trained to hide your true feelings and assume others.
Hernard mean unlike most women I am famous for it, that is really all. View all 18 comments. Mar 03, Carol rated it really liked it Recommended to Carol by: John was a kind and intelligent man who only wanted to be like every other man.
View all 8 comments. Dec 09, Laura Leaney rated it really liked it. Because I couldn’t find a way to steal away from work to go see Bradley Cooper act in this play, I bought a copy to read in the hopes I could just imagine how he might translate the role of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man whose undiagnosed medical condition disfigured his face and body so horribly.
I am left still feeling the need to see it on the stage. This short, spare script moves rapidly through twenty-one scenes. Some of the scenes are less than two typed pages. As a result, reading the s Because I couldn’t find a way to steal away tthe work to go mna Bradley Cooper act in this play, I bought a copy to read in the hopes I could just imagine how he might translate the role of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man whose undiagnosed medical condition disfigured his face and body so horribly.
As a result, reading the script probably offers less depth than a live performance where the actors’ movements and expressions might deepen the words. Nevertheless, I found the play very moving. The surgeon, Frederick Treves, parallels Merrick in importance. The dynamic between them reminds me of the psychiatrist-patient relationship of Shaffer’s fascinating play Equus. By examining Merrick and controlling his environment while he lives out his days at The London Hospital, Treves’s own failures become apparent.
All the lines end in “like me.
BBC Radio 4 Extra – Bernard Pomerance – The Elephant Man
He is gentle, almost feminine. Cheerful, honest within limits, a serious artist in his way. He is almost like me. For I know he is discreet. And yet we’re not like each other. I conclude that we have polished him like a mirror, and shout hallelujah when he reflects us to the inch. I have grown sorry for it. Still, there is enormous importance in the revelations regarding society’s reaction to disfigurement. In the last scene of the play, the administrator for The London Hospital is reading his report to the investors about the death of Merrick.
When he asks Treves if he’s forgotten anything, Treves says, “Well. He was highly intelligent. He had an acute sensibility; and worst for him, a romantic imagination.
I am really not certain of any of it. I think it was to elephaht that he was a man.
View all 5 comments. Oct 07, Shlomo Touhis added it. The Elephant Man was a moving play which featured a young man going through a problem that no one could understand. He faces a disease that leaves his body disfigured and his face — beyond hideous. This true story captures the love in which he receives — the love that he never thought would come to him — once he is taken under the treatment of a young doctor.
While i read The Elephant Man, I pomerane to picture myself in his un-adored shoes, as i thought it would be nearly impossible.
The Elephant Man | Samuel French
Though, as The Elephant Man was a moving play which featured a young man going through a problem that no one could understand. Though, as this is a common classic in writing, I found Bernard Pomerance’s literature not at all difficult to understand.
He was able to let the reader slip into the life of John Merrick The Elephant Man eoephant have the reader believe that they were visiting him themselves. I certainly felt as if bernad were the case. For, as I allowed myself to sink into the book, I was found myself quite discontented at his hard life. I found myself asking, “how could someone allow a mere 21 year-old man go through anything as horrifically depressing as this?
Throughout the piece, one is left begging for the John Merrick to experience the best of a life, for as his condition might depress him, it also has the potential to kill him.
It is truly a tragedy, regarding the poor life of this innocent man. One is left to really embrace the fact that we are lucky to have not gone through what John Merrick himself had endured. After I read the book, I was left with a sort of empty feeling, gnawing at me. I took this feeling as curiosity, and went on to immediately research the case of John Merrick. This indeed was based on a purely true story, and after seeing the movie as well, I am left adorned by The Elephant Man.
Before my last year’s trip to London, I somehow failed to check the theater schedule, and on a bus tour I had an incredible sinking feeling when I spotted the theater with The Elephant Man sign. That feeling worsened when after the tour I checked the show dates at a ticket booth and noticed the play had closed just on the previous day. The most interesting story in the whole world, one that I’ve been obsessed about for years, and just a few months before I was disappointed I couldn’t see Pomeran Before my last year’s trip to London, I somehow failed to check the theater schedule, and on a bus tour I had an incredible sinking feeling when I spotted the theater with The Elephant Man sign.
The most interesting story in the whole world, one that I’ve been obsessed about for years, and just a few months before I was disappointed I couldn’t see Pomerance’s play on Broadway, where it got rave reviews.
As an effort to console myself and because the next best thing is to read the play, I loaned it from archive.
These are the words Frederick Treves used to describe Joseph Merrick sometimes mistakenly named as Johnone of the most famous figures of the Victorian era, in The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences Showing symptoms at a young age, Merrick ended up severely deformed, and had to sleep sitting up to make sure he wouldn’t die because of the weight of his head.
His deformities also prevented him from working in regular jobs, and after a few years in the workhouse he decided to try his luck in a travelling sideshow.
Bernard Pomerance – The Elephant Man
It was when he ended up in London on display at a Whitechapel shop that he first met Frederick Treves. After an unsuccessful stint in Brussels, Merrick returned to London and was eventually allowed to stay at the London Hospital for the remainder of his life. Fiction about real people is in many ways problematic. As in David Lynch ‘s The Elephant Man whose production company ended up being sued because of the similar plot to Pomerance’s playPomerance’s The Elephant Man shows Merrick as the victim of patronizing Treves, and as the center of attention of his high society acquaintances who lavish him with gifts, but don’t seem to be interested in him as a person.
They all see something of themselves in Merrick, making him a blank canvas where others can project their fears and desires. It’s troubling, because victimizing Merrick more than is necessary turns him into a mere object of pity. It might make it easier to explore the themes associated with his life story, but it’s a questionable strategy.
In Pomerance’s retelling, Merrick is physically abused in Brussels, although despite his reluctance of speaking about his years in the freak show, there’s no reason to presume there was any misconduct.
According to the newest research, Treves embellished some aspects in his memoir he didn’t realize the freak show was Merrick’s way of earning a livingbut unless evidence to the contrary is found, I’d rather see Merrick being remembered as a sensitive theatre-loving young man, who spent time reading books and constructing models of buildings.