Fortunately, most of us will never know what it is like to be handicapped.
At the same time, car accidents, cancerous tumors, and many.
other misfortunes cause thousands of people each year to lose use in their.
arms, legs, or other parts of their body. Nancy Mairs was one of those people.
She became handicapped (though she prefers the term cripple) as a result of.
multiple sclerosis. Being a professor of writing and composition at The.
University of Arizona, she decided to write about her atypical lifestyle in an.
essay entitled, On Being a Cripple. This piece comes from a collection of.
poetry and essays called Plain Text that was written in 1986. Mairs uses many.
tactics and techniques to show the reader what it's like to be disabled. She.
applies an emotional appeal to persuade a change in the readers? stereotypical.
thoughts about living with a disabling, terminal disease. In this essay, Mairs.
shows that an individual has choices in life, no matter what the situation. .
Her methods include description, tone, and the first person perspective. .
Throughout the whole piece, she never seems angry or bitter at her situation at.
all. The writer actually comes off as grateful and content. She demonstrates.
that even though one has a life-threatening illness, one can.
still live a happy, normal life.
She starts off the essay by saying that she isn't offended by the word.
cripple, as many people with disabilities are. Mairs breaks down the meaning.
of the words handicapped and disabled and comes to the conclusion that she.
would rather be termed as a cripple. She states, "Whatever you call me, I.
remain crippled" (241). "As a cripple I swagger? (240), is said before.
this. These are two examples of her not being mad at her current condition,.
but making the best of it. This puts the reader in a good mood, and makes you.
want to read more.
Nancy Mairs then goes on to address the questions that have been.