Disabilityby Nancy Mairs

Disabilityby Nancy Mairs

Meaning

Question1

Mairsopposes the ideas portrayed in a medical drama where a woman withmultiple sclerosis was denied the opportunity to fulfill her dreamsof traveling (Mairs, 1987). Once the woman learned of her condition,she was upset, but she responded by planning a trip while she wasstill physically capable. However, her doctor pursued her to theairport and stopped her from taking the trip. Mairs does not like therepresentation because a doctor uses his medical expertise andpersonal feelings to strip away the woman’s independence anddecision-making ability (Mairs, 1987). Besides, the movie does notconsider the complexities and characteristic of the woman, but ratheruses her disability as the main factor that determines her identityand actions (Mairs, 1987).

Question2

Mairsviews herself as a great consumer because disability does not stopher from completing various tasks as a normal human being. Sheindicates that her age, nationality, and socioeconomic backgroundsare similar to those of any other American, which makes her anadvertiser’s dream (Mairs, 1987). Therefore, she places thedisabled individuals on the same level as the able-bodied persons,although the society views them differently.

Question3

Thepeople with disabilities should also be on television becauseeliminating such individuals only serves to belittle the physicallychallenged. The advertisers want the disabled individuals to remainat a safe distance away from human issues because using them intelevision commercials might make that the viewers feel insecureabout their vulnerabilities (Mairs, 1987). Therefore, eliminating thedisabled from the television denies their existence. However, Mairsbelieves that the society should not deny the existence of thedisabled individuals, but instead, they should acknowledge them andeven incorporate them in activities such as advertisements.Otherwise, the disabled might feel isolated, which can have adversepsychological consequences (Mairs, 1987).

Question4

Mairs’thesis is to achieve integration between the disabled and able-bodiedpeople by including the disabled individuals in various activities(Mairs, 1987).

Purposeand audience

Question1

Thepurpose is to show that the disabled individuals in the society arejust like the able-bodied persons. Thus, she wants to show theaudience that the disabled people need equal representation andinclusion in various aspects of daily life (Mairs, 1987).

Question1

Mairssends a message to both disabled and able-bodied people to bestraightforward about the physically challenged (Mairs, 1987). On theother hand, disabled people should not feel embarrassed, shamed, orsorrow due to their disabilities. Mairs shows that the disabled areall human beings and should not be defined by their physicalchallenges. Besides, most people end up having some form ofdisability due to old age (Mairs, 1987).

Methodand structure

Question1

Mairsuses comparison and contrast to show the similarities and differencesbetween her condition and that of the woman in a television drama whowas diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (Mairs, 1987). Mairs indicatesthat she is different from the woman on the television because she isnot an embodiment of a chronic, incurable degenerative diseasedespite her disability. The comparison illustrates that Mairs doesnot let the disability define her personality, decisions, orcapabilities. She also compares herself to the ordinary woman andexplains that they are similar in many ways. For example, Mairsindicates that she carries out various daily activities such drivingand laundry. The similarity shows the audience that the disabledpeople are just like other human beings thus, they require equaltreatment and opportunities (Mairs, 1987).

Question2

Mairsuses generalizations in the essay to portray the conditions of thedisabled people in the society. For example, Mairs indicates that sheuses a cane or wheelchair and has a peculiar pace due to herdisability, which makes her easy to spot in a crowd (Mairs, 1987). Inanother instance, she indicates that she is a great Americanconsumer, which makes her every advertiser’s dream. Thesegeneralizations are valid because the disabled people are easilyidentified in a crowd due to their physical attributes (Mairs, 1987).On the other hand, the advertisers target the buyers to influencetheir buying decisions, which mean that the disabled individuals areamong the targeted consumers just like any other person.

Question3

Mairsbegins her essay indicating how she has been searching for thedisabled people in the media. She introduces herself to the audienceby illustrating the details of her disability. Then, she raises hercriticism because she has never seen a disabled person on television.Mairs transitions from the complaints using a connecting word andnarrates how she saw a disabled woman in a television drama. Theintroduction prepares the readers to accept the ideas that Mairspresents because she uses her disability to establish hercredentials. Therefore, the reader views Mairs as a reliable personwho can articulate the issues of the disabled people.

Question4

Mairsuses examples from her personal life to support her ideas and showhow the society treats the disabled individuals. Through her personalexperiences and examples, she shows the readers how the societytreats the disabled people differently from other individuals (Mairs,1987). She also selects examples from media advertisements to showthat society does not acknowledge the existence of the disabledpersons. The examples help the readers to understand the consequencesof their actions in denying the existence of the disabled persons.Moreover, the examples make the readers understand why it isnecessary to treat disabled people just like any other person (Mairs,1987).

Language

Question1

Mairs’tone constantly changes throughout the essay. In the first twoparagraphs, she uses an analytical tone when she is analyzingadvertisements on television. She conducts a thorough analysis of howthe society views the disable using the example of the woman withmultiple sclerosis (Mairs, 1987). As one continues to read the essay,the tone shifts to show anger. For example, she uses a bitterconversational tone to explain how a local advertiser would not usedisabled people in the commercials because people are uncomfortableof such representations on television. She writes as though she isspeaking to the readers and expects a feedback. For example, sheindicates, “if you saw my niece order Coke, would you switch toPepsi in case you would be stuck sightless” (Mairs, 1987). Thisquestion introduces some form of conversation with the reader, but italso indicates that Mairs is angered by the advertiser’s response.At the end of the essay, Mairs’ tone shift from anger to one ofdetermination (Mairs, 1987). She explains that the disabled peopleshould not be isolated from other people because disability isintertwined with other human issues. Consequently, the tone supportsher purpose of persuading the society to treat the disabledindividuals as other able-bodied persons.

Question2

Mairsuses irony to provoke the readers to think critically and analyze theinvalid notions about the disabled people. Therefore, the ironyprovides moral and practical lessons that portray disabledindividuals as a normal human being who should not be characterizedonly by their physical features (Mairs, 1987).

Question3

Atthe beginning of the essay, Mairs uses the words crippled,appliances, and peculiar gait when describing herself. These wordsattract the readers’ attention because many people do not use suchwords due to fear of being offensive to a disabled person. The wordssound harsh and demeaning, but they present Mairs as tough.Therefore, it provokes the readers’ interest to learn more about aspeaker who is not afraid to describe herself using bold terms(Mairs, 1987).

Writingtopics

Question1

Inmost instances, I find myself viewing the people with disabilities asdependent on others. Therefore, I presume they require help invarious tasks in their daily lives. Although the notion is in somecases true, I agree with the opinion that the society, especially themedia, should include the disabled people in ordinary activities.Despite the physical challenges and sometimes the need for help, thedisabled persons are capable of carrying out various tasks just likeany other person. Therefore, the disability does not change theirpersonalities thus, it should not determine their decisions orinfluence other people’s decision about them.

Question2

Theminority groups, particularly the African-American are overlooked inthe television advertisement. Even as the country is experiencinggrowing and varied consumer preferences, there is still an unequalrepresentation of the minority groups in the televisionadvertisements. Most ads feature white characters because theadvertisers aim to influence many consumers, which will increase thesale of the advertised products. The advertising industry does notacknowledge that the minority groups have a significant influence onthe buying decisions. However, the minority should be incorporated inthe media because they also have some impact on the buying decisions.Overall, their inclusion might influence their community’s buyingdecisions and preferences. Moreover, the incorporation of theminority groups can affect the way the society interacts with eachother based on ethnic backgrounds.

Question3

Thepeople with disability are treated as though they cannot undertakeimportant tasks in the society without assistance from able-bodiedpeople. The society to some extent views the disabled persons as aburden and in constant need of help. Consequently, the society keepsordinary people at a distance from those with disabilities.Nonetheless, this contrasts the facilities my school provides. Theschool gives the disabled persons assistance through easilyaccessible facilities such as reserved parking bays located near thereception. Additionally, there are chairlifts and ramps in areas thatare raised or have steps. Therefore, the disabled individuals have anopportunity to be self-dependent instead of asking for assistance invarious places within the school compound.

Question4

Mairsself-revelation helps to support and develop her thesis in the essay.Her main idea is to prove that the disabled people should be givenequal opportunities in the society (Mairs, 1987). Mairs is blunt andreveals intimate details about personal feelings and hygiene, whichhelps the reader view the exclusion and isolation of disabled peopleas ridiculous. She uses examples from her life to indicate why thedisabled people need equal treatment. For example, she gives examplesof how she drives, does her laundry, and goes through biologicalchanges such as menstruation (Mairs, 1987). Hence, herself-revelations support the thesis and prove to the audience thather ideas are right.

References

Mairs,N. (1987). Disability. TheNew York Times.Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/09/garden/hers.html