Aug 10, 2017

Summary of Susan Sontag`s Illness as Metaphor

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Summary of Susan Sontag`s Illness as Metaphor

Summarize Susan Sontag`s argument in the first section of Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors (pp. 3-87). brief citations from Sontag`s book are welcome, but not big citations. Please use 3 examples from the following selection of films to illustrate your response: "Bigger Than Life" 1956 Nicholas Ray *"Ikiru" 1952 Akira Kurosawa "Europa `51" Robert Rossellini "Psycho" 1960 Alfred Hitchcock *"Camille" 1973 George Cukor (I have * 2 of the movies I think are pertinent to this assignment) The four sources are Sontag`s book and 3 of the above listed movies. please keep in mind the following quote from Sontag`s book "My point is that illness is not a metaphor, and that the most truthful way of regarding illness-and the healthiest way of being ill-is one most purified of, resistant to, metaphoric thinking." we put metaphors on illness & accept them without thinking about them. ie: health is good & illness is bad. Getting ill is feared because it effects both us & how people look at us
[Writer`s Name][Professor`s Name][Subject][Date]Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its MetaphorsThe idea behind Susan Sontag`s book, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, was to create awareness about society`s response to fatal diseases. Sontag`s first section is developed around the metaphors that relate to disease and she persistently invokes her essay on cancer to make her argument more effective. It was 1976 when doctors informed Susan Sontag that she had breast cancer and that she could live only six more months. In search of a remedy she studied about cancer and later she underwent surgery. She started a new life after the surgery. During the time from the discovery of the illness and the surgery, Sontage experienced very hard realities of life and this experience added a fierce intensity to her life, making her able to understand the meaning of life more closely.In the first section, Sontag introduces the contagious practice of describing illness through the use of metaphors. She was critical of those who theorize that some forms of cancer may be caused by an unhealthy state mind. She was of the view that people should understand the tyranny of false metaphors in order to liberate themselves from the language of fears and superstitions that had no basis in reality. This is the reason that she argued against the belief held by some people that an individual`s thoughts and self-image can cause illness. She argued that the relatively optimistic uses of sickness metaphors had been shattered, and cures were generally seen as only possible by way of revolutions. The author supports her contention in part by noting how noticeably inclined modern totalitarian movements have been to use disease imagery. In her prefatory comments Sontag herself binds thinking and sickness together by proposing that her intentions were to help the ill by changing their thinking about their diseases. She maintains that “the most truthful way of regarding illness—and the healthiest way of being ill—is one most purified of, resistant to, metaphoric thinking” (3).Tuberculosis and cancer are defined as diseases burdened by mysterious battles and underlying secrets. For developing her thesis of tyranny of false metaphors, Sontag cautiously examined the older metaphorical ideas of tuberculosis as a pattern against which her readers can compare the contemporary metaphors of cancer. Despite having no interest in...

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