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Ashley Montagu tells John Merricks unusual story in the book that studies human dignity The Elephant Man The Elephant Man an intriguing book that captures the heart of the spirit is the story of a simple yet unfortunate man It causes one to think about lifes precious gifts and how often they are taken for granted As the sad and unique story of John Merrick the elephant man unfolds all are taught a lesson about strength and courage When Sir Frederick Treeves first discovered John Merrick in 1884 he could only be described as a huddled mass of loneliness14 Merrick had a horrible disease called elephantiasis This extreme misfortune caused Merrick to be lame and his appearance to be that of a monster With his skull the size of his waist and large quantities of skin growing randomly all over his body no one wanted to befriend John Merrick Everywhere he went screams of horror and looks of disgust greeted him As a young child his mother passed away leaving him a homeless orphan So because of his hideous looks being displayed as half-man and half-elephant at a freak-show became normal His life consisted of torment and torture for the next twenty years of his life until Sir Frederick Treeves asked him to come and be studied at the London hospital Soon Treeves arranged with the head of the hospital for Merrick to live in an extra room at the hospital After twenty years of loneliness and disrespect John Merrick finally had a place to call home He began to ignore his monstrous looks and finally allowed himself to act like human with feelings With the help of his new friend Frederick Treeves he even attended plays and went for walks He lived happily at the hospital for almost seven more years where compassionate people frequently visited him Even people of royalty paid him visits No matter how ill treated he
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