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Rhetorical Analysis Of Cripple By Nancy Mairs

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As an individual who developed a serious case of multiple sclerosis, Nancy Mairs begins to see herself in a different way, not as a normal person but as a “cripple”. As she opens with “I am a cripple.”. The disease ripped away her ability to walk. The disease allowed her to realize the deeper meaning of derogatory terms, such as “disabled” or “handicapped, especially the term “cripple”. The disease redrew her personal sketch, becoming something though physically lacking, yet resilient beyond comparison. By combining rhetorical strategies with rhetorical appeals, Mairs presents herself in a way that invokes an emotional response from the reader. After losing the ability to operate her legs properly, Mairs begins to declare herself a “cripple”. She proclaims this knowing people cringe whenever someone is called a cripple. Mairs herself doesn’t fully comprehend why she decided on this title, but she believes that she wants others to see her as a “tough customer”. A person who “fates/gods/viruses have not been kind”, yet still can accept the brutal truth. By claiming all this, Mairs makes the reader realize that she’s a unyielding individual, yet also appeals to pathos by invoking feelings of sympathy from the reader. Also, one would likely agree that…show more content…
But Mairs see’s “cripple” as the only appropriate name for herself, because saying terms like “disabled” or “handicapped” are misleading. In the case of disabled, it means someone is incapable of performing basic physical or mental activities. While handicapped would mean she is purposely put at an disadvantage. Both these names hide the truth of her being unable to walk, while cripple literally means, the inability to walk. Since she calls herself a “cripple”, she avoids any euphemism while appealing to logos. It also makes the reader feel like Mairs is person who doesn’t prance around the truth, and just accepts
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