In the essay “cripple” (1992), Nancy Mairs, implies that the word cripple is the better suited word for her because it does not hide the fact of what she really is and because handicapped or disabled is just a nicer way of saying cripple. Mairs made it clear that she wanted to be called crippled and not handicapped and/or disabled, it made her feel undeveloped and insecure. Mairs said society is no readier to accept crippledness than to accept death, war, sex, sweat, or wrinkles, in order to prove her point that society cannot see anything other than the way a person looks. The intended audiences are people that base their opinions on the looks of people and not their personality. Mairs uses an assertive tone to emphasize her pride and to establish why she prefers the word, “cripple” to describe her. In paragraph one, Mairs presents herself as “a cripple” to validate her perspective of being a strong willed individual despite her debilitating disease, multiple sclerosis. Mairs states, “As a cripple, I swagger”, ironically downplaying her condition as a means of empowering herself, since she is physically unable to “swagger”. This powerful statement gives the audience a sense that she is not afraid, embarrassed, or ashamed of what she is. Instead, she accepts her condition, makes the most of it, and wears the title on her back with pride. Mairs presents herself as a straight-forward individual, who is very blunt and frank about her limitations, which does not hinder her from possessing a tough persona, she is opinionated and aware that people “wince” at the word “cripple”; however, she does not acknowledge their over sensitive mentality. By her saying this, it can be depicted that she doesn’t mind, and wants, to stand out in her own unique way. When Mairs says “It has an honorable history,” (referring to the word “cripple”) she offers a different perspective of a word often thought of as something unfortunate. She does this in order to show the...
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