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On Being A Cripple
Transcript of On Being A Cripple
By: Nancy Mairs
Paige, Malisha, Kendra
Mairs compares herself to, "some sort of brightfingered muse." She uses this metaphor, because one of her students are so facinated with the details she puts into painting her fingernails. The student looks to Mairs as an inspiration for fine detail, so the student continues to write essays. (page 264)
Mairs also compares, "to feeling like Tiny Tim, peering over the edge of the table at the Christmas goose, waving my crutch, piping down God's blessing on us all. Only sometimes i don't want to play Tiny Tim. I'd rather be Caliban, a most scurvy monster." (page 266)
This simile shows how Mairs feels upon being crippled. She will be the person she is and live it to its most potential, although she would rather be someone who is capable of breaking the potential she holds.
Mairs uses flashback when talking about her past experiences being a cripple. She uses phrases like "the other day...", "in the past ten years...", and "when I was twenty-eight...". These phrases are significant in the story because they build up the emphasis to the reason that Mairs wrote the essay and why she has the opinion that she has.
1. Do you think that words like "cripple" are still used the same way in society today?
2. What do you think Mairs means by the quote: "society is no readier to accept crippledness than to accept death, war, sex, sweat, and wrinkles"?
3. Do you agree or disagree with the quote above?
4. Mairs seems to blantantly use the word "cripple" in her writing as if it does not bother her, do you think it was overused and did it seem to get her opinion across to the reader?
"May lose vision, hearing speech, the ability to walk, control of bladder and/or bowels, strength in any or all extremities, sensitivity to touch, vibration, and/or pain, potency, coordination of movements." page 261
"Because I hate being crippled, I sometimes hate myself for being a cripple. Over the years I have come to expect-- even accept-- attacks of violent self-loathing." page 266
Definition: words or passages an author uses to activate emotions
Mairs utilizes pathos in her essay to create an overall message about how derogatory terms affect a person when they already have so much on their plate to deal with