Cancer Discourse and its Psychocultural Landscape in Kerala


  • Joby Mathew Scholar Ph. D Research Scholar Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam, Kerala, India
  • Dr. Siby James Research Supervisor, Associate Professor Department of English, St. Thomas College Pala, Kottayam, Kerala, India


Cancer, Discourse, Metanarrative, Scientific turn, Allegory, Metaphor, Post metaphysics


Derisively contending the collective global medical attempts, cancer has become the second largest contributor to human mortality. Having been cathected with many a cultural affect, the disease has accrued mythical proportions. The collectively sanctioned cultural taboo of the disease has led to treating it in a quasi- religious and mythological mould. Despite the declared scientism of the twenty first century, people seem to be resorting to a hyper metaphoric parlance when addressing the disease. This paper attempts to scrutinize this exuberant allegorization and metaphorization of the disease in spite of the ardent scientific ambience of our era. Kerala, in spite of being a postmodern society sharing international development indicators, is no exemption. All the different cultural discourses that shape our everyday reality narrate the disease in an implicit allegorical register resulting from a metaphysical hangover. As a result the patient suffers a collective ostracization of the society. What we need instead is a secular and scientific treatment of the disease bereft of hyper metaphorization, befitting our era. Cancer should be addressed primarily as a pathologic corporeal condition and the patient must be perceived as a medical subject. This would free the patient and the community of their superfluous emotional baggage and symbolic myth making.


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How to Cite

Mathew, J., & James, D. S. (2019). Cancer Discourse and its Psychocultural Landscape in Kerala. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 14. Retrieved from