Elizabeth's Reviews > Illness as Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors

Illness as Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag
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Oct 02, 09

Read in October, 2009

I've read this book more than once, so it is getting a bit stale, but each time I've read it has been for a classroom situation, so I like that it is familiar. The essays are dated, but they do give an idea about how things were before cancer and AIDS had higher survival rates. I disagree with her critique of metaphors' value in helping a person with a disease, illness, or disability, so I included poems by Joy Harjo and Paula Gunn Allen to illustrate why metaphors are a tool for dealing with anger, fear, trauma, and other strong emotions. Pairing this with items that historicize it and problematize her claims mean this I will continue to use this in the classroom.
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