Nancy Mairs, Andre Dubus, Harriet McBryde Johnson: Disability

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What comes into one’s mind when they are asked to consider physical disabilities? Pity and embarrassment, or hope and encouragement? Perhaps a mix between the two contrasting emotions? The average, able-bodied person must have a different perspective than a handicapped person, on the quality of life of a physically disabled person. Nancy Mairs, Andre Dubus, and Harriet McBryde Johnson are three authors who shared their experiences as physically handicapped adults. Although the three authors wrote different pieces, all three essays demonstrate the frustrations, struggles, contemplations, and triumphs from a disabled person’s point of view and are aimed at a reader with no physical disability. Nancy Mairs, born in 1943, described herself…show more content…
Her first piece of evidence of disabilities portrayed by the media is that she saw a woman with multiple sclerosis on a medical drama, but that in the end the woman ended up falling in love with a successful, manly doctor. The author points out that while a disability is being represented by the media here, it is being falsely represented, because it implies that people with disabilities end up having some magical happy ending to make up for their hardship, which is not true. Mairs then proceeds to share her experience of speaking with a local advertiser. She states that she asked him why disabled people were not included in his advertisements, and that he responded by saying that he didn’t want to imply that the product was only for disabled people. Her next line, “If you saw me pouring out puppy biscuits, would you think these kibbles were only for the puppies of the cripples?” is highly effective because it is simple and logical. The reader must consider what their reaction would be to a commercial that included a handicapped person. For instance, I imagined a Hillshire Farms meat commercial that featured a family, one family member residing in a wheelchair. After considering my potential reaction, I concluded that I don’t think I would have noticed the family member in the wheelchair more than the

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