ISBN: 0374520739 / ISBN-13: 9780374520731
Illness as Metaphor
by Susan Sontag
This text is an examination of the fantasies concocted around conditions such as cancer and tuberculosis in our cultural history. The author argues ... Show synopsis This text is an examination of the fantasies concocted around conditions such as cancer and tuberculosis in our cultural history. The author argues that illness is not a metaphor and that the most truthful way of regarding illness - and the healthiest way of being ill - is to resist such thinking. Her examples of metaphors and images of illness are taken from medical and psychiatric thinking as well as from sources ranging from Greek and medieval writings to Dickens, Thomas Mann, Henry James, Frank Lloyd Wright, Auden and others. "AIDS and its Metaphors", the sequel to "Illness as Metaphor", is written in the light of the AIDS crisis. Sontag states that our metaphors for AIDS and its effects may be damaging because they suggest an apocalypse in personal and social terms, and therefore threaten not only the victims of the disease but all of society.