Living With Disability Essay

1939 words - 8 pages

Disability is an topic that has produced conflict, and is viewed very differently from either side. For able-bodied people to truly understand what disabled people go through they need to see disabled people more; see their lives. If seeing disabled people more often became reality, they would be viewed as normal more, and it would make interacting easier for both sides. Disabled people have a hard life, but it does not mean it is not worth living. Nancy Mairs, Andre Dubus, and Harriet McBryde Johnson all have physical disabilities, and have written about their experiences and views. In their writings, they touch upon both similar and different points. A very present similarity between the authors is they all play to the same audience. In their messages, both Mairs and Johnson agree that able-bodied people automatically assume that disabled people have a lower quality of life or are unhappy. The strategies used by each author plays to their message, and aids them in getting across their position. Disability isn’t always easy to understand, and these authors help illustrate that.
The purpose of Mair’s piece is to inform the reader of the number of similarities disabled people have with able-bodied people, and to persuade them that disabled people should be introduced into our lives more. She does this by recounting the experience of talking with a local advertiser about why he doesn’t air ads with disabled people in them. “His response seemed direct enough: ‘We don’t want to give people the idea that our product is just for the handicapped.’ ... To depict disabled disabled people in the ordinary activities of daily life is to admit that there is something ordinary about disability itself, that it may enter anybody’s life.” This story serves as a way of enlightening the reader as to why we don’t see ads with disabled people in them. It informs as to the rational for not exposing disabled people more. She also informs by writing about her similarities to an able-bodied woman of her age. This takes a persuasive edge, because it has the effect of convincing the reader that she really isn’t that different from any other woman her age. It gets the reader to really start to understand how there is little difference between the able-bodied, and the disabled. She also strives to persuade the reader that if we interacted and saw disabled people more, we would adjust, and it would feel normal. But all of this would be moot if she didn’t show she is credible to the audience. Mairs shows her credibility by using examples such as citing movies that focus on disability, and writing of her own personal experience. She immediately writes about her disability, which shows the reader she is open about it, and it doesn’t leave the reader wondering what happened. To get her point across and to appeal to the audience, Mairs uses emotion and ethics. Her emotional appeals can be seen in the first paragraph, where she talks about her disability. Writing about her...

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