John Merrick
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John Merrick

The Elephant Man

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About Him

Grew Up… with a horrible deformity. His face is so disfigured he doesn’t even look human. But he was lucky to have such a loving mother. She was so very beautiful, and cared for him until her dying day.

Living… alone in a London hospital. Mrs. Mothershead looks over his daily needs and treats him kindly, but it's still a very cold and lonely place to be. It’s better than his past as a freak show attraction, but it's still far from perfect. After all, no one really gets used to loneliness, and John has been lonely for as long as he can remember.

Profession… a former attraction in a London "freak show." Fortunately, Merrick was saved from his cruel master by Doctor Frederick Treves. The doctor recognized Merrick as a human, and had him moved into the hospital, where he is subjected to a battery of tests and experiments daily. It may sound like the Doctor was only interested in Merrick as a specimen, but he’s served as the Elephant Man’s solitary champion in a world that regards him as a twisted curiosity. Treves’ work with Merrick may have bought him success and recognition, but it’s also come at a great personal cost for Merrick. For that, John is eternally grateful.

Interests… religion, drawing, and model building. Merrick treasures the time he gets to spend cultivating these skills, but often finds himself pulled away to entertain members of high society. They’re more polite than the patrons of the freak show, but it's really all the same; to them he’s simply a monster to be marveled at. He could never be taken as himself, only as The Elephant Man. It all feels like a performance, one in which he can simply remain silent as they beg for an encore.

Relationship Status… nonexistent. The only true loves of his life are the Lord and his mother. Although he’s been born with this seemingly terrible "malady," he still sees himself as a devoted child of the Lord. Faith is the only true antidote to his despair. He puts all his trust in the Lord and the Lord has never failed him, while mortals have. As far as romance, people are often frightened by what they don't understand, and so, though fully capable and yearning for love, he remains alone.
Challenge… being treated as a man rather than an animal. No matter how severe his deformities may be, he is still a human being and deserves to be treated as such. People think that because someone has such a severe physical deformity, he or she must have a deformed inner or emotional life as well. Merrick bleeds and weeps like anyone else. All he wants is to be treated with decency.

John Merrick's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #5101 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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