Stigma In The Elephant Man

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The idea of stigma has experienced imperative movements in definition and portrayal since its introductory declaration by Erving Goffman in 1960s. Social stigma is extreme social objection of an individual in view of a specific characteristic that demonstrates their abnormality from the social standards. In his work, Goffman exhibited the essentials of stigma as a social hypothesis, including his understanding of "stigma" as a method for ruining personality. By this he alluded to the stigmatized characters capacity to ruin the recognition of the individual’s adherence to social standards in various other facets of self. Goffman identified three types of stigma (1) stigma associated with mental illness, (2) stigma of physical deformity and (3) stigma attached to an individual’s identification on the basis of caste, race, religion, gender etc. Stigma divided the society into two categories one, the normal and two, those who are not normal. Goffman considered stigma to be an effective antagonistic social mark that profoundly changes a man 's social personality and self -idea. In the movie the elephant man, the protagonist John Merrik suffered from various disabilities and deformities. He was secluded from the society because of his disability. He was not considered to be “normal”. He was treated a little better than an animal by his master who used him as a profit making machine in a circus. He was considered to be the world’s biggest “freak”. Later, Dr Treves took him to
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