On Being A Cripple

619 Words3 Pages
Authors use rhetorical strategies to express themes in their writing. Different rhetorical strategies help convey different themes with varying degrees of effectiveness. One way to determine the effectiveness of an author’s style is to compare their works to another. In order to determine whether Nancy Mairs or James Baldwin is more effective, it is necessary to evaluate the two side by side. In both “On Being a Cripple,” by Nancy Mairs and “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin, disease is discussed. However, it is different types of diseases. Mairs discussed multiple sclerosis and how society should not use labels just to make themselves feel better. Baldwin addressed mental illness and the crippling societal disease of racism. While both…show more content…
Growing up during the 60s and 70s, she has good family relationships. She is a successful writer, teacher, and is married with children. Mairs has positive things in her life that help her get through the difficult times. Baldwin’s childhood is a stark contrast to Mairs’s. As a black man growing up during the Jim Crow era, Baldwin was personally discriminated against. For a long time Baldwin held resentment against his father for the way he viewed society. In the end, however, Baldwin had adopted the same demeanor. In “Notes of a Native Son,” Baldwin had become resentful at society for the way it treated minorities negatively, just like his father. In Baldwin’s essay he shows a complex perspective. In the beginning he is optimistic but as it continues he turns more and more pessimistic. He realizes everything isn’t as good as he thought it was and becomes angry and bitter. While the tone remains straightforward and calm, the mood is slightly angry. Baldwin doesn’t want pity either, but he does want the reader to understand the trials and tribulations he had to go through because of racism. Baldwin is a credible author because he grew up during the Jim Crow era. Throughout the essay he uses anecdotal evidence to appeal to the emotions. One example is when he wrote about not getting served at the diner and the scene caused because of it. While Baldwin states this all calmly, the scenario tugs at the
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