Over this the creature was huddled to warm itself . Descriptions such as these paint the sad but vivid picture of the life John Merrick led.
In the film and the play (which are similar in many details), John Merrick learns to move in society, to have ladies in to tea, to attend the theater, and to build a scale model of a cathedral.
Merrick may have had greater achievements in real life, but the film glosses them over.
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.
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?
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.
He lived happily at the hospital for almost seven more years where compassionate people frequently visited him. No matter how ill treated he may have been, no one ever heard John Merrick complain about his hideous looks or his horrible life.
With outstanding endurance, he proves to the world what a truly heroic person can do.