Most people think that this film is portrayed as rude, and have a negative perspective about it. An academic article by Joan Abalone offers an opinion from both reactions to the film, but uses sample evidence to support the negative response more than the positive responses. She opens by describing how society portrays disabilities and explains the original diagnosis given to Joseph Merrier. Media creates the opinions of body image and sets the standard for hat is normal, leaving people with disabilities unable to obtain social acceptance.
Merrier was diagnosed with an extreme case of neurotransmitters (EN), which would later be deemed as a misdiagnosis. Next, she points out the details of the story of The Elephant Man as it is written and played in movies. Merrier was the center of all American media; opening these images and ideas up to many different audiences. These different audiences included the population of people that also were diagnosed with NFG. The remainder of her article is evidence and quotations room a sample NFG population that had an opinion about the film.
Much of the responses are negative because people began to have “Elephant Fever”, which was the fear that they would one day progress to something similar to Mr.. Merrier. Many people reported that they were scared or irrationally worried about their future. She argues that this story, although statements later went out to correct the misdiagnosis of NFG to the correct diagnosis of Protests Syndrome, left a negative legacy that “… Precipitated fantasies Viking dread and horror for many affected persons and their families. ” (Abalone).
The first argument to disagree with Abalone can be made by simply comparing the audiences. The NFG audience is a minority and negative responses are expected. The general public audience is the majority and are the people that will be positively impacted by the film. Because of the unaware majority, this film created a desire to learn about NFG and Protests Syndrome. It resulted in funding for research and a better understanding of how severe disabilities can be. Society now has a better understanding of the deformities and others like it.
The film displayed the difference between a person’s physical features and heart. The article focuses primarily on the reaction to the film images, but not on Merrimack character. The Elephant Man squashes all assumptions about disabled people being outsiders to society. This film is a positive message to society encouraging people to be more accepting and open-minded to things that are different from the norm. Above all things, this film is motivating because it describes hope; there is always a chance to find your identity and overcome pain.