Character Analysis Of Frankenstein In Mary Shelley's 'Elephant Man'

643 Words 3 Pages
Olivia Jackson
Mrs. Westerfield
ENG 1113
7 March 2017
Elephant Man
Joseph Merrick, also known as “Elephant Man,” had a rare medical condition that caused extreme deformities on his face, arms, and legs. He can be compared to the creature in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Just like the creature, Joseph Merrick was subject to cruel judgment and a hard way of life from a very young age. The creature and “Elephant Man” were both outcasts to society due to their appearance. Although the creature was a fictional character, he can be personified in real life as “Elephant Man.”
In Chapter 11 of the novel Frankenstein, while searching for food, the creature enters a hut and his physical appearance scares the man who lives there. “He turned
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“She continued her course along the precipitous sides of the river, when suddenly her foot slipped, and she fell into the rapid stream. I rushed from my hiding-place and with extreme labour, from the force of the current, saved her and dragged her to shore” (Shelley 168). The creature was very upset after this because even though he had done something good and tried to be helpful, he was treated as if he had tried to harm the girl. “‘This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone” (Shelley 169). Joseph was also subject to punishment for things beyond his control like when his father beat him for not selling enough items. “When one day his father beat him severely for not earning enough money, Merrick went to live with an uncle briefly before becoming a resident at the Leicester Union Workhouse at age 17. Merrick found life in the workhouse intolerable, but unable to find any other means of supporting himself, he was forced to stay” (Blatty, par. 4). The workhouse was intolerable for Joseph, and he soon turned to the circus to help him (Blatty, par. 5). The circus also did not end well for Joseph. He was robbed of his life savings, abandoned by his manager, and mobbed by a crowd (Blatty, par. 7). After this, he went on to live out the …show more content…
They were often treated like outcasts to society. Joseph had a hard time making a living due to his deformities and suffered a short and miserable life. He was also judged according to his appearance by the people around him. The creature was also judged by his appearance and struggled to gain acceptance by the society he lived in.

Works Cited
Blatty, David. “Joseph Merrick.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 18 Sept. 2015, www.biography.com/people/elephant-man-joseph-merrick. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Barnes and Noble

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