Rhetorical Analysis of Nancy Mairs' "On Being a Cripple"

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About this sample


Words: 584 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Words: 584|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

“On being a Cripple” is an essay written by Nancy Mairs about the experience of living as a cripple. Nancy Mairs autobiographical work is began when she owns her state of being crippled and identifies herself as such. The essay reminds the audience of the diagnosis and the lifelong effects of the author’s multiple sclerosis as she writes about the physical effects the condition has had on her. She however spends much time rejoicing about the abilities she has retained. By analyzing the work of Nancy Mairs, the audience can understand the consequences of being crippled in women and how the audience can define themselves in relation to their bodies and the surrounding world.

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The essay is written to inspire those who take part in the learning process in the medical humanities classrooms. The instructors and students of medical humanity are, therefore, the audience of the essay because of the twists and turns that the author includes in her description of living with the unpredictable disease. Even as she is crippled, she notes in her essay that she has proceeded with her daily life without interruptions. Her explanation of how she has continued to put into details all the skilled and family roles is an inspiration to medical humanities students. She expresses the kind of depressions that she goes through and the kind of activities that she can no longer perform because of her medical condition. The essay is useful in bringing the theory at classroom into real life for medical students and instructors. For instance, she writes “how she hates MS. “Analyzing the classroom theory in relation with real life situation defines how the lives of those suffering from the illness are affected physically and psychologically (Cohen 262).

The essay purposes to show the impact of multiple sclerosis condition on the life of a feminist writer who interacts with the entire world. In her description of her crippled self, she notes that she faces the reality of her life changing since the diagnosis if her illness. By noting the extent of the impact to her well-being, the author writes of how she is fortunate to have a loving people around her who can help her out. She comes out as a writer who faces the brutal truth of her existence because of the illness that has taken her. Mairs notes that “She is in a dilemma that people are kind to her because of the health condition” Her sentiment sends a message to the whole world on how she undergoes some difficulty living with the reality of the illness (Cohen 264).

In her essay, Mairs brings out the message that her fellow disabled people should take responsibility of their lives and happiness. Taking about the progression of MS throughout her life, the author gives several examples of different groups of people who are afflicted. She also gives the different ways in which she reacts to the afflicted. In her work, she gives an example of “two older women to another friend, Michael, “hence providing readers with a variety of people to identify with when analyzing the impact of the illness (Cohen 269).

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Mairs speaks honestly and blatantly about her health condition, discussing how she has continued with her life and working around her illness. Her description of her experiences is significant in the sympathies of her audience who clearly notes that she hates having MS. However, the author declines any pity from her audiences as she prefers to remain active in her activities.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Rhetorical Analysis of Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple”. (2019, July 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Rhetorical Analysis of Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple”.” GradesFixer, 10 Jul. 2019,
Rhetorical Analysis of Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Rhetorical Analysis of Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jul 10 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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