The famous American writer, Nancy Mairs, in her argumentative essay, I am a cripple, narrates that she has already accepted the appellation of cripple. Mairss purpose is to evoke peoples sympathy towards disabled people and call on society to respect them. She adopts an ironic tone in order to warn people that they should be more respectful towards disabled people. Mairs begins her argumentation about cripple by clearly expressing the thinking process of why she chooses the word to name herself and acknowledging her attitude towards the word. She creates an ironic diction through the use of swagger, and she points out that perhaps I want them to wince. Swagger means people who walk proudly, it implies confidence, but Mairs belongs to the group of disabled people, she will never be able to reach this status because she is different from normal people. So she uses swagger to describe herself in order to emphasize that she doesnt want to be discriminated by others. The intense outpouring of emotion from Mairs conveys an ironic sense that will make readers realize their mistakes in a relatively indirectly way. Also, the using of swagger evokes readers to think that what may happen if they are disabled, these kinds of reflection will ask them to reconsider their attitudes towards disabled people.
Mairs shifts to the comparison between cripple and other words by analyzing different words practical effect. She uses restatement by repeating the role of differently-abled which is thought to be euphemism, but later she changed the statement with different words: the process of an undeveloped country transformed to an underdeveloped country, then to less developed, and finally to a developing country will take a long period of time, and during this period, people still need to starve. Mairs expounds the meaning of differently-abled into such a long sentence in order to claim that the weakness of differently-abled and emphasize that disabled people will still be suffered by using polite forms of words. She presents the information about the process of a countrys development which is familiar to us, and the comparison between similar things strengthens Mairs ironic attitude and narrates in a more understandable way. It can also make readers more impressed by the fact.
Last but not least, Mairs ends her argumentation about herself by declaring that cripple is used by her to name only herself, but she actually doesnt mind what people call her as long as they do not call her differently-abled. She used Ethos by citing the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts, which is George Orwells thesis. She expressed her approbation that a famous persons statement in order to convey the idea that the disorderly use of language is foolish, which implies that the word differently abled is the outcome of it. Mairs also wants to emphasize the vicious influence of this word. Since the statement is declared by a credible person, and usually readers will be more willing to accept these kinds of ideas, this credible statement will support the authors argument and make it more persuasive.
In conclusion, its through the use of diction, restatement, and Ethos that Mairs sells her argument. These strategies all contribute to an exceptionally well-written argument. Once one reads the piece, they will be nodding along in accordance with Mairs and agree that people should see disabled people equally and respect them.