The Elephant Man Essay

Bernard Pomerance
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In this brief essay, Ricks discusses the recurrent imagery that Pomerance has borrowedfrom Shakespeare 's Romeo and Juliet, arguing that the playwright uses the material to illustrate the nature of social conformity in the world of The Elephant Man.

Repeated images the corset, the cathedral model, and the allusion to Romeo and Juliet represent twists on the idea of illusive and restrictive moral standards in Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man. The corset first stands as a symbol of mere control or restriction, depending on the degree of irony applied to the image. Ross, the freak show proprietor, uses the corset image to describe Merrick: he is the result of "Mother Nature uncorseted." Ross is trying to say that anything produced by an uncorseted (or uncontrolled) Mother Nature would certainly be freakish. But when one realizes that Mother Nature restricted by a man-made fashion garment would probably bear anything...

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This section contains 526 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Elephant Man Study Guide
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The Elephant Man from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.