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
Both James Baldwin and Melba Beals are well experienced in living in a society where whites are viewed as superior to people of color, and they both know how it felt to feel ashamed in their own skin. In Baldwins letter "My Dungeon Shook" he writes to his nephew about succeeding in such an unfair world. In Melba's "Warriors Don't Cry" she tells her harrowing experiences as she tries to pursue the integration of Central High School as a member of the Little Rock Nine. Melba's experiences and the unfair world Baldwin describes have many similarities and it shows how society's treatment of others can dramatically affect someone's
In James Baldwin’s essay, “A Talk to Teachers”, he addresses the teachers around the world. He argues that the purpose of education is to equip students with the ability to look at the world for themselves. Clearly, Baldwin’s most significant rhetorical move to persuade the reader is his use of ethos, pathos, and repetition. Throughout Baldwin’s essay, he encourages changes in education for blacks, but he does so using ethos and pathos.
She understands that “ the self-loathing she feels is neither physical nor intellectually substantial. What she hates is not herself but a disease.” Mairs is trying to rise above the self-pity she developed and wants to be free of it. Mairs explains a journey of realization and stops defining herself with MS, but “ she was satisfied with her adjustment.
In "On Being a Cripple", Nancy Maris focuses on how her life changed after she became a "cripple", and how society sees people with a disabilities. She starts out by explaining why she calls herself a "cripple", because she believes that it gives the best definition that best describes her. It also gives her confidence, and empowers her to face the hand that she was dealt, with “swagger”(29). She shares some of the hardships that she endured after she found out that she had multiple sclerosis. She mentions that her family has been a big part of her life, the support that she gets helps her get thought the day “Fatigued and infuriated, I bellow, I’m so sick of being crippled!
Baldwin was at the center of the civil rights movement. In 1963 Baldwin assembled a group of Black leaders to meet with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to discuss race relations. Baldwin came to write this book because he wanted to and was able to give a firsthand account of what it was like to be a “Negro” growing up and then living in a “white” America of the 1960s. This book was James Baldwin’s plea to "end the racial nightmare" (p. 156). It is shocking to read this and to realize how little has changed between 1963 and now.
She has multiple sclerosis. In the essay she describes the struggles of her condition and knows that it causes her to have limitation in everyday societal procedures. She blunt choice of word to describe only herself and no other. After reading her essay, the word "Cripple" is neither informal, accurate, nor realistic. It is derived from the Old English word cripple, to crawl, and is considered offensive.
The book is separated into three sections. The three essays of the1st section are cultural commentary on depiction of the African American in the arts. They show Baldwin’s mature evaluation of the intricacy of his position as an African American intellectual. The three essays of the 2nd part observe aspects of African American life during and shortly after World War II. These essays show Baldwin’s beginning, the home and the culture that he had to comprehend in order to become himself.
Baldwin uses an advanced vocabulary throughout the essay, but only uses slang terms when referring to African Americans. By using phrases like “But if I was a "nigger" in your eyes”, he shows the audience what the words culturally imply such as stupidity and ignorance. Since this is
Racism and racial inequality was extremely prevalent in America during the 1950’s and 1960’s. James Baldwin shows how racism can poison and make a person bitter in his essay “Notes of a Native Son”. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” also exposes the negative effects of racism, but he also writes about how to combat racism. Both texts show that the violence and hatred caused from racism form a cycle that never ends because hatred and violence keeps being fed into it. The actions of the characters in “Notes of a Native Son” can be explain by “A Letter from Birmingham Jail”, and when the two texts are paired together the racism that is shown in James Baldwin’s essay can be solved by the plan Dr. King proposes in his
The book begins with anecdotes about the defamation of black bodies by white people and by Christianity itself. When speaking about his adolescence, Baldwin writes that “Owing to the way I had been raised, the abrupt discomfort that all this aroused in me and the fact that I had no idea what my voice or my mind or my body was likely to do next caused me to consider myself one of the most depraved people on earth” (Baldwin 17). The platonized Christian tradition that Baldwin was a part of saw the body, and especially the black body, as a symbol of sin, and so the onset of puberty became a source of guilt because of its association with sexuality (Brown Douglas
So this makes his real- life experience connect so closely to the story he had written. He experienced loss in real life along with in his story. In the story, the narrator had also lost his daughter to polo, although he didn’t exactly explain his feelings, he showed that it did affect him. Which makes me think that maybe Baldwin was the type of person to hide his feelings and act tough even though things affected him. He tried not to dwell on things, but realize that he can feel
"I have begun this letter five times and torn it up five times. I keep seeing your face, which is also the face of your father and my brother" (1) indicates that Baldwin put time and effort into making this work as heartfelt as possible to make his message clear. The writing style he used in this message is one that shows that he is familiar with his audience, his nephew. At the same time, this language style is familiar because this letter can be used to address African-American teens other than his nephew James. Baldwin 's language in A Letter to My Nephew shows that he is pacifying his nephew for being born into the environment that he is in, but at the same time passing the blame onto the United States for creating such an environment.
One will constantly face temporary conflict throughout life, but ultimately they can overcome through a will to on and pursue what makes oneself happy. Baldwin was able to create a picture in the reader's mind due to his personal relation to his characters, he was able to understand the harsh times for an African-American male. It also reflects on the care that siblings have for one another and how even though they have good intentions, they can't always help their loved one follow a positive
This quote shows that even though Mairs sometimes has difficulty accepting her illness, she knows that there is a growing acceptance of people who must deal with the difficulties that she faces. This ultimately lends a hopeful and positive tone to an otherwise serious and depressing section of her essay. This contrast in tone, but general feeling of hope is key to the type of emotions that Nancy Mairs is trying to educate her readers about. Mair is successful in using multiple rhetorical strategies to connect with the reader.
Baldwin is the only black person in the village making him the outcast. But, since he is an outcast that has no authority over the villagers he feels like he is inferior compared to them. “The most illiterate among them is related, in a way that I am not, to Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Aeschylus, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Racine” (100). Even though the villagers have no relations to these people they are tied to this culture and the glory days of Europe, while Baldwin is tied to the history of getting conquered and enslaved.