Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Elephant Man

I used to teach The Elephant Man to some of my university reading/writing classes. We read the graded novel (pictured), watched excerpts from the film and the students wrote a number of pieces from the point of view of the characters (Joseph Merrick to his mother, for example) or on parts of the story that invite reflection (was Dr Treves motivation for helping Merrick primarily selfish, was Merrick's death an accident or suicide). I also had the students do creative projects, which mostly turned out to be some kind of illustration or painting. One boy who said he wasn't very good with pen or brush brought me this clay figure of Joseph Merrick (based very obviously on the book's cover illustration).

While going through some boxes today I was a bit saddened to find him forgotten. It's not a lovely figure, but it has a certain charm (probably colored by nostalgia).

I'd hate to chuck Mr Merrick. I know there are some Elephant Man fans out there. If you find this before it's too late, please write and adopt him.

Never, oh never
Nothing will die
The stream flows
The wind blows
The cloud fleets
The heart beats
Nothing will die



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