The Elephant Man is based on the life of Englander John Merrick, who lived in London during the nineteenth century. Merrick, who is deformed and suffers from a rare skin and bone disease, is a star freak attraction in a traveling sideshow. Found abandoned, Merrick is transported to London's Whitechapel hospital, where he is under the care of young physician Frederick Treves. Soon, Merrick is introduced to London society, and slowly transforms into an urbane and witty favorite amongst the aristocracy and literati. However, he is denied his dream of becoming a man like any other.