London, second half of the Nineteenth century. Young John Merrick, disfigured by a rare disease that gave him elephant features, is put on display in the side-stall of Bytes, an alcoholic that lives on exploiting his deformation and treats him like a beast. This is where Merrick meets doctor Treves, a surgeon from the London Hospital, who lures Bytes into giving Merrick to him to study and treat him. Presented at a scientists’ congress, John reveals a superior mind and a refined and sensible soul. Later Bytes manages to take him overseas to put him on display as a freak until, out of compassion, some of his “co-workers” set him free. John, with his face concealed under a hood, returns to London, where he experiences a tragic end. Like almost all the movies by Lynch, an unclassifiable and ingenious outsider, this second work, after Eraserhead, is also a “dream of obscure and perturbing things,” a lucid nightmare that should be seen, rather than explained. Doomed by his diversity to emargination and rejection, or at best to the hypocritical mercy of the society of ‘normal’ people, this monstrous being - inspired by the true story of a neurofibromatosis sufferer, who lived in England during the Victorian age - has intellectual and emotional skills that allow him to claim his human nature, his being equal to anyone else. He is denied this right, and his dramatic conditions, partly set aside during the day, recur in terrifying nightmares.