"On Being A Cripple" Essay

790 words - 4 pages

In this excerpt from On Being a Cripple, Nancy Mairs’s courageous tone combined with her self-acceptance depicts the troubles of language utilized in present times in order to describe a person with a serious imperfection. Mairs discusses her straightforward title, a cripple, in order to explore the real meaning of being an individual and the voyage of accepting who you truly are. With the use of strong word choice, rhetorical structures, repetition, and great syntax, Mairs thrusts us into the world of uncertainty concerning one’s true identity. As the reader reaches the conclusion of the passage, the revelation that they are the ones who determine their own identity is uncovered, and the ...view middle of the document...

” Mairs wanted the bravado, and having a word such as “differently abled” describe her wouldn’t be very constructive, leading her to choose “cripple” from the pool of nouns.
Cripple. Cripple. Cripple. Not only is it the main part of the opening statement, but also it is the bulk of the conclusion. This deceivingly simple word is repeated an abundance of times in order to emphasize Mairs’s affirmation of who she really is. Mairs explains how she accepts that word since it properly describes her, and states how it is the only precise one out of the many others. In paragraph three, Mairs says, “Whatever you call me, I remain crippled.” She also says, “I refuse to pretend that the only differences between you and me are the various ordinary ones that distinguish any one person from another.” Clearly, Mairs was showing that she adamantly knew who she was, and that society’s views weren’t going to affect her status. Society didn’t choose to call her a cripple, she chose to call herself a cripple.
The variety of sentence structure and word choice indubitably enhances this selection. Mairs uses powerful telegraphic sentences such as, “I am a cripple” and “Mine is one of them” in order to severely impact the reader. These phrases, especially “I am a cripple,” engage the audience...

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