— John Merrick’s mother (Phoebe Nichols), The Elephant Man (1980) screenplay by Christopher De Vore & Eric Bergren & David Lynch, based on the book “The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences’ by Sir Frederick Treves and “The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity” by Ashley Montagu
The actual scene is here.
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is deathbed scenes, suggested by Gabe.
Trivia: The last lines, spoken by Merrick’s mother, are quoted from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Nothing Will Die.”
Dialogue On Dialogue: Two things. First Merrick’s choice to sleep in a reclined position is an act of suicide, but also for those fleeting moments a chance to feel some semblance of normalcy. It is profoundly sad, made all the more so because his final moments are spent in solitude, no dialogue. Second I wonder perhaps if director David Lynch chose to end the movie with a transcendent moment amidst the stars and recalling Merrick’s mother’s words to give the viewer a shred of an upbeat feeling… or if the poem actually intensifies the sense of sadness through the beauty of Merrick’s courageous final act to claim his own humanity.