Susan Sontag 's The Devil 's Bait

1224 WordsOct 24, 20165 Pages
Our eyes unconsciously record thousands upon thousands of bits of information every second. Our brain then acts as a filter to sort out what it thinks is useful and what is not. By doing this, the brain guides us into seeing only what is important. We never see the full picture; just what our brain guides us to see. Metaphors act in the same way in that they guide how people view certain topics and issues. A specific metaphor that becomes accepted by a large enough population of community will determine how most people in the community view that issue. In a way the metaphor skews the perception of those who hear it. This was the case for the metaphors of cancer in the late 20th century which we can see through Susan Sontag’s piece, “Illness as Metaphor”. We can also see this manifested in metaphors associated with people diagnosed with Morgellons’ disease in Leslie Johnson’s narrative, “The Devil’s Bait”. Both pieces deal with how metaphors have shaped the outlook of patients of their respective diseases. Metaphors obscure and shift our understanding of disease and pain away from the full truth into a smaller and less understanding perspective. The similarities between the metaphor of cancer as death and Morgellons as a farce prove that metaphors of disease isolate patients diagnosed with those diseases. For much of the 19th century into the early 20th century, tuberculosis was the disease with false connotations attached to it, but as time passed and the cause and cure of

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