Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors The idea behind Susan Sontag’s book, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, was to create awareness about society’s response to fatal diseases. Sontag’s first section is developed around the metaphors that relate to disease and she persistently invokes her essay on cancer to make her argument more effective. It was 1976 when doctors informed Susan Sontag that she had breast cancer and that she could live only six more months. In search of a remedy she studied about cancer and later she underwent surgery