The Elephant Manaka Joseph Merrick, aka (incorrectly) John Merrick He was not an animal, he was a human being! Ironically, the one thing he wasn't was an elephant man. Joseph Merrick suffered from a rare disease which was not actually the elephantiasis that provided his unfortunate nickname. But The Proteus Syndrome Man or even worse, The Neurofibromatosis Man, wouldn't be a very good movie title, so the misdiagnosis probably worked out for the best. Merrick was born in England in 1862. When he was a toddler, it quickly became clear that something was terribly wrong when disfiguring tumors sprouted on his face.Merrick believed he had become deformed because his mother was frightened by an elephant. Even considering the science of the day, this was a ludicrous idea, but then again Merrick didn't get the chance to receive a high-quality education. Merrick's mother died when he was 10. His stepmother couldn't deal with the child's escalating deformity and insisted that his father throw him out on the street. Daddy Dearest complied, and Merrick became a street urchin, albeit a not particularly adorable one. By the age of 12, Merrick was peddling shoe polish on street corners, where he was exposed to the elements as well as the taunts, bullying and general persecution of his fellow urchins. Later he became a ward of the state, forced to live and work in a welfare sweatshop, making Oliver Twist's problems seem trivial by comparison. Merrick's face and body were covered with massive lumpy growths, hard tumors made of bone; he looked much like a Play-Doh bust that had been mashed and gouged by a child. A lackadaisical attempt to cut away some of the excess growth failed, and Merrick's deformity grew. Everywhere he went, crowds gathered around to gape at his deformities, without paying so much as a dime. Putting two and two together, Merrick decided to pursue the most obvious career choice that lay before him -- sideshow freak. If he was going to be a spectacle, he could at least profit from the process. Despite popular myths about the Elephant Man, Merrick wrote in a short autobiography that his time as a sideshow freak wasn't particularly sordid or hurtful. Real life was hurtful. In the sideshow, Merrick said, he was treated only with the "greatest kindness." Many misconceptions about Merrick's life stem from the popular 1980 movie, The Elephant Man (directed by David Lynch), which depicts Merrick as a lost soul who was abused at the sideshow and deprived of his dignity, which he was then forced to laboriously reclaim, uttering at one point, "I am not an animal! I am a human being!"The movie lays waste to Merrick's dignity far more comprehensively than anything that happened in his real life. Merrick appears to be unable to communicate (in life, he had difficulty speaking because of tumors on his jaw, but he could write very serviceably). The circus owner, whom the real Merrick considered a kind friend, is painted as a drunken bully. The movie even got his name wrong, calling him John Merrick (repeating an earlier chronicler's mistake). Merrick's time with the sideshow went quite well, according to his own account, but ended on a sour note when the money he had been saving was stolen by a crooked promoter in Belgium. Penniless and in declining health, Merrick returned to England.Merrick's appearance precipitated a mob scene. When police answered the call of public disturbance, they found a card for Dr. Frederick Treves and deposited Merrick at the London Hospital. Treves was a physician who had visited the sideshow a few years earlier in order to study the Elephant Man's affliction. A prominent anatomy specialist, Treves would later be knighted for his glorious efforts in performing a routine appendectomy on King Edward VII. Treves initially diagnosed Merrick with elephantiasis, a disease in which the lymphatic system goes nuts and large, hard tumors grow around the legs and genitals. Merrick's deformity continued to grow unchecked. In addition to the huge, boney tumors on his head -- which eventually reached a circumference of three feet -- a constellation of tumors sprouted all over his body, some hard, some soft, some just right. His left arm was normal to all appearances, but the rest of his body slowly distorted into phantasmagoric shapes, even more uncomfortable to possess than they were to see. Despite Treves' care, Merrick's health declined because of his disease, and he slipped into a rather understandable state of depression. Treves collected donations and solicited volunteers to provide care for Merrick when the hospital refused to foot his bills. After the newspapers had their way, Merrick grew a bit of celebrity, his hospital room pupating into a classy sideshow. Members of the royal family and other nobility coming to pay their respects and do whatever inbred aristocrats do instead of gawking like yokels. Merrick wanted nothing more than to emerge into the world again, and in 1889, he took a six week vacation out in nature, far away from the prying eyes of the public. Although his life had been filled with clamor, his death came quietly. Merrick died in bed at the age of 27. Through his life, Merrick had slept in an upright position because of his deformities, but on the night of April 11, 1890, he lay down on his back in bed and apparently asphyxiated from the weight of his chest.
The Elephant Man is a story about a ugly man named Joseph Merrick written by Tim Vicary.Joseph Merrick was a person who was so ugly that others either laughed at him or were afraid of him.So he was not ill but he couldn't go to work either.But he was very happy in the last three years of his life.Where was his happiness from? He always kept the beautiful things in his mind.Even when he was kept in the cold and dark little room,he took his mother's picture with him because her mother was beautiful ,kind and the most important she smiled to him when he was a child. He was satisfied with what he have.Though he was so unfortunate,he never complained about the life and the fate.When some peole went to see him,he talked about the books with them happily.So more and more people were willing to visit him. It is not the appearence but the inside of one's charactor that desides weither he can live a happy life