"The Elephant Man," a novel written by Christine Sparks, tells the tale of a deformed man called the Elephant Man as he struggles to survive among fully functional fellow members of Victorian London. John Merrick is a medical wonder yet is considered a freak by fellow members of the none-too-accepting society in Victorian London.
Merrick is a native of London, born and raised in the bustling, vibrant English city in the 19th century. He is severely disfigured as a consequence of a mysterious illness that struck him at the tender age of 14. As a result of his illness, Merrick is left with a body riddled with tumors, and growths cover his hands, face and extremities. Adding insult to injury, he must sleep sitting up or risk suffocation from the tumors coating his esophagus and neck. Merrick is given a room to live in at a local hospital following his recovery where he lives a life of loneliness and rejection; even visits from family members are few and far between. Merrick’s condition catches the attention of physician Dr. Treves who develops a relationship with Merrick, finding his condition perfect grounds for writing a medical paper. Ultimately, Merrick’s condition is terminal, and after a final single evening of a joyful outing in public, Merrick dies.