Devoir de Philosophie

The elephant man de Lynch

Publié le 12/06/2023

Extrait du document

« “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I… am… a … man!” This line is extracted from the movie the Elephant Man, released on 9 October 1980 and produced by David Lynch, which deals with the treatment of people with physical deformities.

Even looking at it from a modern perspective, it is no hard feat to see what makes this film special and how it has stood the test of time.

The film depicts the life of John Merrick, based on the real life of Joseph Merrick an English men born with severe facial and bodily deformities as a result of her mother being trampled by elephants during her pregnancy, hence the nickname « The Elephant Man ».

His physical appearance led people to see Merrick as a “monster” and a threat to society.

This leads us to ask, to what extent does a physically different person fit into society? When he was only 11 years old, John Merrick lost his mother Mary Jane.

Not being considered 'suitable' for society, he finds himself imprisoned and exploited by a circus owner (who regularly beats him) and is made to display himself as a form of “freak show.”.

One day, he came to the attention of surgeon Frederick Treves, who was intrigued about the ‘Elephant Man’ and asked if he could inspect Merrick’s body.

He gave him a private room in his hospital and treated him like a real human being.

But not everyone sees it that way.

As depicted in the film, Merrick’s appearance makes people shriek and children grab their parents with fear.

Throughout the film, we are consistently presented with situations in which John Merrick is the object of people stares and they make it perfectly clear that he’s always being looked at.

It doesn’t take a genius to decipher the message that the film is putting on display here.

What is so frightful isn’t John’s face, it's the actions of the people around him.

Merrick is rejected and dehumanised because of his appearance, he is not accepted in society, he is not considered human and people do not fail to remind him of this .However, as the film goes on, we start to look past John’s appearance to see a cultured, intelligent and very kind man.

A man who wants to hear about people’s children, who wants to go to the theater and connect with the world around him.

People starts to like him for what he is, and is even helped by.... »


Liens utiles