Show MoreSomeone who is crippled often receives pity and sympathy from others, but do cripples always want this? In this passage entitled “On Being a Cripple,” Nancy Mairs uses interesting word choice, repetition, and a sarcastic tone to touch upon a subject that most mature non-crippled Americans are not entirely comfortable with; using the so widely feared word “cripple” instead of the common “handicapped” or “disabled” to be polite or politically correct. Elaborating to a society, so infatuated with being politically correct, that using a word considered derogatory to most may be necessary according to exact definition is Mairs’s purpose in writing this passage.
From the very first sentence of her passage, Mairs’s use of the word “cripple”…show more content…
She uses the word, or a form of the word, “cripple” eight times in the three paragraphs of her essay and with every use it becomes increasingly less shocking. She does this because she wants the audience to see that with repetition comes acceptance. Mairs’s second to last use of the word comes in the second sentence of the last paragraph when she states “Whatever you call me, I remain crippled.” Because she used the word so many times previous to this statement, the audience now accepts and respects it as what she truly is. Therefore, her purpose has been achieved. Although her passage wraps around using the word “cripple,” she also very frequently talks about the words “handicapped” and “disabled.” Instead of talking about them in the way that society today would, she talks about how degrading they are. In her second paragraph she talks about how disabled and handicapped do not fit her condition according to exact definition. Her purpose in this is to get across the point that “cripple” is the only word with a true definition that fits her condition and is should not make individuals feel uncomfertable.
Nancy Mairs uses sarcasm and tolerant statements throughout her passage to develop a tone that keeps the audience comfortable with a problematic subject. In Mairs’s second paragraph, for example, she states “And I certainly don’t like “handicapped.” which implies that I have deliberately been put at a
Analysis of Disability by Nancy Mairs
1008 WordsMay 8th, 20125 Pages
University Of Balamand
Faculty of Health Sciences
English Communication Skills (Eng203)
Critical analysis of “Disability” by Nancy Mairs
May 11, 2012 Author of disability Nancy Mairs who’s a feminist and a cripple, has accomplished a lot in writing and teaching. Her remarkable personality shows in many of her essays especially in Disability which was first published in 1987 in the New York Times. In this essay, Nancy Mairs shows how disabled people are constantly excluded, especially from the media. By giving out facts and including her personal experiences, Mairs aims for making some changes regarding the relationship between the media and people with disabilities. Mairs thesis is shown implicitly in the first…show more content…
Nancy Mairs starts “Disability” with self-revelations which show through her entire essay, like for instance: “I am a forty-three-year-old woman crippled with multiple sclerosis…”; “take it from me…”; “I’m the advertisers’ dream…” The fact that Nancy Mairs mentions herself a lot makes her essay lack objectivity. But the reason behind this is that few are the people who can relate to this topic. So no one really knows what this is about as much as Mairs and all disabled people who form a minority do. This tells us that the author knows what she’s talking about. Since this essay is addressed to people who don’t know much about disability, its purpose is not merely to inform us about the physical disability itself but also about the psychological effects of the constant isolation and exclusion of people with disabilities. This makes the essay persuasive rather than argumentative since the author only mentioned her attitude towards this subject. But what a better way to do it than having a person with disability talk about his/her personal experiences? Persuading people of Mairs point of view which is that disabled people should be included in the daily activities couldn’t be done by just stating objective facts. This kind of persuasion needs examples. To prove that disabled people are unfairly treated, Nancy Mairs gives an example of a crippled women who was stopped from doing what she wanted to do, though she was still physically able to do