Psychological Response to Negative Paradoxical Metaphors of Terminal Illness in Promise Ogochukwu's Sorrow's Joy
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Creative writers wield literary tropes in exemplifying thoughts in the minds of characters. As literature is given impetus by the thoughts and actions of humans, the utilization of literary tropes in depicting preoccupations in the minds of characters is a reflection of the human mind, which harbours thoughts laden with these tropes, especially metaphors. Hence, textual representations of characters experiencing pain from terminal illnesses often feature paradoxical metaphors (parametaphors).
... isting studies on illnesses/diseases privileged trauma, depraved mental and physical conditions, however, inadequate attention has been given to the effect, which the literary representations of illnesses, through debasing paradoxes and metaphors, have on affected characters. This study, therefore, investigates the impact of para-metaphors on the character, Sefi, who suffers from cancer in Promise Ogochukwu's Sorrow's Joy. The primacy of the unconscious and repression, facets of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory, are used to account for the psychological state of affected characters. The theory bears relevance to the text, which is purposively selected and critically analysed to highlight the destructive influence of parametaphors related to the underlying disease in the text. As the major character, Sefi, holds on to the paradoxically metaphoric ideas, her cognitive psychological state continues to diminish. She becomes paranoiac, schizophrenic; depressed, which are additional derailing weights to the underlying disease she suffers from. As a literary endeavour, meanings are implicit in the para-metaphorical expressions distilled from the selected illness-text; this has implications, both on patients' understanding of their ailments and on the critical reception of the text.