The Elephant Man - Study Guide Scenes 17 and 18 Summary & Analysis

Bernard Pomerance
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These two scenes portray a pair of Treves' troubled dreams, deliberate echoes and ironic recreations of two earlier scenes.

Scene 17 - Cruelty is as Nothing to Kindness Treves dreams that he is being examined by Merrick and exhibited by Gomm, in the same way as Merrick has been examined by Treves and exhibited by Ross. In a deliberate echo of Scene 2 Merrick tries to convince Gomm let him examine Treves without cost, Gomm insists that he's too valuable an investment (an echo of Gomm's implication in Scene 1 that it's important for Treves to increase the hospital's reputation). Gomm also says he's a good man, implying that good men don't deserve to be exploited. Merrick comments that that makes him a perfect subject, and Gomm agrees.

Scene 18 - We Are Dealing with an Epidemic Merrick delivers an analysis of Treves' moral condition, similar to Treves' analysis...

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This section contains 616 words
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Drama for Students
The Elephant Man from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.