Strong and Crippled Throughout this passage Nancy Mairs uses the word cripple to describe who she is and the beliefs of her condition. She does this by describing her condition in a few different ways; the opinion of others and the opinion of herself. As anyone should she decides what her title as a person should be and she doesn't listen or care for anyone's opinion outside of her own. Her tone is very straightforward throughout the passage. Mairs describes her condition and how it relates to the actions and response of other people in any situation. Mairs uses the term cripple loosely making sure it is not offensive to anyone.
By starting her passage with, "I am a cripple," Mairs doesn't hide anything. She begins by coming straight out into the open with who she is and how she wants the world to view her. In the first paragraph Mairs uses the word choose three times to establish her personal decision to be titled a cripple. It is Nancy Mairs choice that she is comfortable with.
She states that, "perhaps I want them to wince," when she is talking about people's reaction to the word cripple. Mairs puts her image and her dignity on the line but smartly repeats that she doesn't discredit anyone from having their own opinion. She does this rather than telling or expecting her audience to convert; she knows everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Nancy Mairs is completely straightforward with her condition throughout the entire passage. "As a cripple, I swagger," she says expressing one of her weaknesses that she has no worries about because of how comfortable she is with herself. As a cripple Mairs is extremely proud to be who she is.
She goes on to say, "I like the accuracy with which it describes my condition." She explains whit this that she is comfortable a certain way knowing that any other word or any other title to describe who she is would not suit her. In the last paragraph of the passage, Mairs begins to justify her opinion and reasoning for wanting to titled as a cripple. "Whatever you call me, I remain a cripple," she states very blunt and bold revealing once again how she wants to be viewed by the world. She later uses the term, "differently a bled" which in her opinion is verbal garbage. Mairs calls it verbal garbage as a way to vent her feelings towards the topic in general.
She feels that differently a bled is something that limits any abilities that she may have. Nancy Mairs shows the world just how powerful the English language is in this passage. She strongly shows that yes, she may have lost full use of her limits but she refuses to pretend that the only difference between her and anyone else are the carious ordinary qualities that distinguish any person from another. She clearly gets her point across to the audience by letting them feel where she is coming from. Her decision to be called cripple was her decision not chosen or influenced by anyone else. The strong, blunt, start to this passage that said, "I am a cripple," ended in the same straightforward sense.
She states that, "I would never refer to another person as a cripple. It is the word I use to name only myself." She proves that each individual has the right to decide what and who they are.