Nancy Mairs On Being A Cripple Summary

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Pages: 6

Multiple sclerosis is a serious, disabling disease that affects the central nervous system and can lead to loss of vision, speech, and movement in the limbs. It affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide, but is still a taboo subject to discuss. In Nancy Mairs’ essay, “On Being a Cripple”, she shares personal experiences caused by MS and addresses the different ways others refer to those with this disability. Through this Mairs creates logos, pathos, and ethos in her work and along with humor she relates to the reader to convince them of the importance of clear, precise language. After opening with an anecdote describing the unfortunate event where Mairs fell into the toilet, she continues on to explain why she refers to herself as crippled. …show more content…
In this story, she is heading to vacation with her family when she starts to experience a strange feeling in her leg. After informing her husband, who asked what should be done, Mairs replied, “I think we better get the hell to California… because I don’t know whether I’ll ever make it again” (19). A response like this also adds ethos to the essay. It shows Mairs is a strong, determined woman who doesn’t give in to her disease. After returning home from her trip, Mairs came to a realization, “I learned that one never finishes adjusting to MS…. One does not after all, finish adjusting to life, and MS is simply a fact of my life” (19). Here the author is directly relating to her reader. She knows everyone has struggles, hers being MS, and one has to learn how to continually adjust to their surroundings. Providing the reader with insightful realizations like this can also add ethos to a text. Mairs also states, “(Life) may at any time get worse, but no amount of worry or anticipating can prepare me for a new loss” (19). Here Mairs is also informing the reader of the conclusions she has come to, to build ethos on her writing. This building of trust then will help convince the reader of her