Literary Tropes: The Battle of Words in Illness

Joy Eyisi Jr.


Literary tropes are a universal type of creative expression that should be explored given how they capture the intensity of individuals suffering from severe disease. This study, therefore, aims to respond to two important questions: Are literary motifs prevalent in the compulsive thoughts of those suffering from diseases? What literary conventions appear to be predominant? Most of the studies that examine literary elements like metaphor and diseases seem to favour the medical personnel, Susan Sontag (1978;1988); Gavin Francis (2017). However, this paper critically analyses how John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars depicts patients with mental operations. By analysing the creative mental operations of affected characters, the study objectifies the presence of literary tropes in those operations and makes a proposition toward their identification. Derrida’s theory of deconstruction is used for the: critical analysis and distilling of literary tropes. Meanings are implicit and deducible in creative mental operations; this substantiates the essence of artistic undertakings.


metaphor, paradoxical metaphor, creative mental operations, illness books, Disease, Illness, Deconstruction

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