chapter  6
17 Pages

Imagery

ByViv Martin

This chapter looks briefly at imagery in literary and linguistic terms: at what metaphor does and how it works. Narrative approaches to therapy similarly draw attention to the use of imagery and metaphoric resonance, where they are particularly helpful as a means of enriching and thickening stories. Imagery often indicates some of the common concerns and existential issues of illness experience. The language used in relation to health and illness is situated within a wider narrative context; metaphor is both embodied and also drawn from the discourses of literature, popular culture and the clinical setting. Pat used the metaphor of 'everything turned on its axis' to denote her experience of the reversal of circumstance that sends her spinning into the world of the sick. Jim expressed his sense of vulnerability powerfully in his account of returning to work and drew on metaphors of size, and sequence: returning to work was 'massive' and 'everything seemed to be a first'.