- Paperback: 71 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press; First Edition edition (September 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802130410
- ISBN-13: 978-0802130419
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Elephant Man: A Play Paperback – September, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
Pomerance' play concentrates on Dr. Frederick Treves, whose experience places him in the company of Conrad's Marlowe. By the end of the play his promotion to knighthood is one more empty Victorian consolation added to a career that has become meaningless. In his powerful, climactic "corset" speech he rises to social indictment of the highest order--a recognition of the "horror" and a denunciation of the shallow, exploitive, self-deluded, spiritless society that he would prefer to be no part of (his epiphany is also suggestive of Charles Smithson's in "The French Lieutenant's Woman").
Juxtaposed with the film, Pomerance's play makes us aware of the power of the theater of the imagination. Unlike the movie, whose requirements for verisimilitude led John Hurt to putting on facial make-up for six hours prior to each day's shoot, the play's John Merrick appears without disguise. His normal features are soon replaced, however, by the audience's realization that Merrick could be--and is--any one of us.
Both a little less realistic and less sentimental than the film, the play is at the same time a provocative and moving study in self-discovery.
While reading the play, I found myself becoming emotionally attached to Merrick as he transformed from a horrid animal to a person of intelligence and wisdom. Each time I read the play I picked up the little things Pomerance wrote about how cruel humanity can be to things they don't understand.
I found myself finishing the play and then turning back to page one. The play was enthralling. Expanding my mind to the world before me while ironically keeping me away from it. The Elephant Man should be dispersed to high schools nation wide, so teenagers have the chance to read and annotate a great piece of literature. This play is great to read for your own pleasure. It will expand your mind, and rethink your position in society.
A strong worded masterpiece like a cannonball ripping through the literary cannon. I recommend this play to anyone of any age looking to expand their mind and thoughts of the society around them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To be read slowly , and reread in order to catch the infinite realities hidden between the lines. Love itPublished 18 months ago by Cris
This play made me want to become an actor. It's my favorite play of all time.Published 20 months ago by Gian Perez
Before the book even came in, I realized that it was taking way too long to come in. It took almost a month since I placed my order, which was a huge dilemma since I needed it for... Read morePublished on June 3, 2014 by Marina
Surprised how well this deeply moving play holds up after so many years the ending is pure heartbreak. A terrific read just as a script.Published on October 15, 2013 by Reader/author