A lot of non-disabled people go through life carelessly, thinking, “What does it matter if I just sit back and do nothing?” Or think that they can do anything they want and everything will still be fine, just taking life for granted. There are people out in the world like Peg a girl from the narrative “The Incomplete Quad”, who can't even go through everyday life by themselves. The narrative “The Incomplete Quad” goes into the lives of people like Peg and Dale and shows us how much they actually go through or rather how much they can't. The story's main focus is on the lives of Peg and a guy named David, C average slacker who thinks he can get through life Doing nothing. He goes to college at Kent state and is roomed with a guy named Dale but when Dale moves back home David’s roomed with Peg. The story follows their lives and the journey of David coming to realize that he needs to change his ways because there are people out in the world like Dale and Peg who would kill to be in his position and be able to live life with half the freedoms he has. In “The Incomplete Quad”, David Sedaris shows that non-disabled people take life for granted by using characterization, humorous diction and the climax and resolution of the story
David Sedaris uses characterization a lot in the story, especially about Dale and Peg. Characterization shows the theme in this story very well because it brings us deeper into the lives of disabled people and it shows us how much we
In Nancy Mairs’ article for The New York Times, “Disability”, published in 1987, she expresses her distaste with the media's representation of handicapped people. Mairs, who struggled with multiple sclerosis herself, clearly and sharply conveys this disgust by stating, “I’m not, for instance, Ms. MS, a walking, talking embodiment of a chronic incurable degenerative disease.” (Mairs 13), and that she is actually, “the advertisers’ dream: Ms. Great American Consumer. And yet the advertisers, who determine nowadays who will get represented publicly and who will not, deny the existence of me and my kind absolutely”(Mairs 14). Mairs is greatly upset that disabled people are defined by their disabilities and, therefore, are underrepresented in public media. This might lead to one asking themselves, but why are they? And the answer, according to Mairs, is quite simple, “To depict 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”(Mairs 14). Mairs concludes by pointing out how this effacement could have dangerous consequences for both disabled people and, as she called everyone else, TAPs (Temporarily Abled Persons) alike. Treating disabilities as an abnormal characteristic (as opposed to viewing them “as a normal characteristic, one that complicates but does not ruin human existence” (Mairs 15)) can cause one of these repercussions, as it makes the
In the video “Inclusion, belonging, and the disability revolution” (TEDTalks, 2014), speaker Jennie Fenton opens with describing situations where people with disabilities are segregated and excluded from their communities, sent to live together away from society, or even treated as lesser humans. She then proceeds to introduce her family, including her six-year-old daughter that was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Jennie admits to previously having negative or frightened thoughts about having a child with a disability, but with her “seven realizations,” she learned that her daughter was merely on a different path than others, but that no one should ever feel broken or not a whole person (TEDTalks, 2014). After she explains that there are roughly one billion people with a disability throughout the world, Jennie states that she believes in possibility over disability. If a person’s
In her essay “On Being a Cripple”, Nancy Mairs presents her audience with an honest inside view of her life and perspective as a cripple, a word she openly uses to define herself. She brings her world to us by discussing a wide variety of things including language, family, and humor, and how these all relate to her life. Through various stories and insights, she allows her readers to gain an understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. She examines the public’s view of the disabled, as well as the views they have of themselves, and compares them to her own. She makes it clear that she is not to be defined solely by her disability. In discussing honestly her views, as well as
In the book, The Short Bus, Jonathan Mooney’s thesis is that there is more to people than their disabilities, it is not restricting nor is it shameful but infact it is beautiful in its own way. With a plan to travel the United States, Mooney decides to travel in a Short bus with intentions of collecting experiences from people who have overcome--or not overcome--being labeled disabled or abnormal. In this Mooney reinvents this concept that normal people suck; that a simple small message of “you’re not normal” could have a destructive and deteriorating effect. With an idea of what disabilities are, Mooney’s trip gives light to disabilities even he was not prepared to face, that he feared.
In the article of David Sedaris “Undecided”, he is very critical about the unsure voters in the American elections. For Sedaris, these undecided voters are usually the ones who have a decisive vote in an election without knowing who they voted for. His mother didn´t have any political knowledge and rely on David to vote for a candidate for her. Sedaris compares the election with choosing what to eat. If you were offered chicken or a platter of broken glass in it, which one would you choose? For him is not confusing, candidates are very different from each other, so it is ridiculous to be undecided. The percentage of people in the United States that are undecided or do not vote is big, but even that, I believe we have a very active voting population.
In her essay, “On Being a Cripple”, Nancy Mairs, an essayist with multiple sclerosis, writes about her experiences with her disease. She wants her audience of able-bodied people to stop pitying towards disabled people and instead show acceptance. Mairs achieves her purpose by presenting herself as similar and relatable to her able-bodied audience with many anecdotes and a blunt tone. This discussion of her condition removes the discomfort about disabilities felt by her audience and allows for them to accept disabled people. While Maris’s primary audience is an able-bodied person who supports disabled people, other readers, like someone with her condition, may be drawn towards this essay as well. Unlike an able-bodied person, a disabled person
Unspeakable Conversations by Harriet McBryde Johnson is an article about her experience visiting Princeton University to exchange views and challenge Peter Singer, a professor who strongly believes that all disabled people, like herself, are “better off” not been born at all. The article provides an insight into Johnson’s life as a disabled person. She takes the readers on a journey that explores both sides of her own and Singer’s contrasting beliefs. She protests the prevalent stigma and prejudice of disabled people and gives voice to this marginalized community. Johnson challenges stereotypes of disability, uses her a personal experience to better understand the world and help others, and attempts to directly address oppression by arguing against Professor Singer’s theory and assemble a group of diverse and like-minded people for social change.
The use of characterization is a crucial part of the story. The first use of characterization
If you saw a person in the mall in a wheelchair, would you judge them? Or would you look at them like they are a normal human-being? People who have a disability whether they are physically disabled, mentally disabled, or learning disabled, are still themselves. Nancy Mairs was forty-three year old woman with multiple sclerosis. She wrote an essay, “Disability”, that explained her views of her physical disability.
The moment she got trampled under the stomps and shoves of others, one could identify what she’d been feeling like previously - a witness to her own inconvenience. This incident not only exemplifies but also symbolizes the burden she feels having been born handicapped, unable to provide assistance or gain to the world. These feelings Adahs has for her life are later rebutted by her longstanding dreams of attending medical school and improving science. By achieving her academic potential, she finally recognized herself as an important asset to the world- no longer being seen as handicapped, physically or mentally.
People with disabilities are not completely gone. They are still there and have a mind of their own. They feel emotions and sometimes have a more complex mind than others. Two authors help enlighten this idea that disabled people are much more than helpless bodies. Both Christy Brown and Jean-Dominique Bauby perfectly illustrate their lives and what it is like to be disabled, and they prove by their stories that they think and feel, and can even develop enough to share what they feel with the world. My Left Foot is about the journey of a boy suffering from cerebral palsy. His entire life he was labeled as a loss cause by doctor after doctor, but his mom never gave up hope. Slowly, he started showing signs of development by random movements responding to certain situations. In the end he ends up being able to communicate with his left foot. The next story, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is about an individual who suffered a stroke at the age of 43, leaving him paralyzed, only able to blink his left eye as communication. He develops his own alphabet inspired by the French language in order to exchange conversations with others. His thoughts in the story jump from the present, him currently disabled, and the past, when he was not. Both memoirs, with very different stories, show the lives of two individuals that are not like others. One who had their disability since birth, and the other who obtained one after a tragic event. In My Left Foot by Christy Brown and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, both authors use characterization to show readers the struggles of disabled people and help them understand that just because they can’t use motions such as hand gestures to express how they feel, doesn’t mean that they don’t think and feel.
Peter Singer, claims that “people with very severe disabilities are likely to live lives that are not as good” this blanket statement has raised a lot of questions, whereby, Singer defends his argument by claiming that people with disabilities do not have the same prospects as those born without disabilities. Singer’s claim is based on his assumption that disabled people are not able to achieve a decent level of wellbeing. He argues that people innately believe that disabled individuals are not capable of achieving a normal level of wellbeing due to, his idea, that mothers would not knowingly harm (disable) their children.
The characters in the story “The Life You Save May be Your Own” show people with different kinds of disabilities, whether it be a physical disability or a mental disability. Each character shows disabilities that make them isolated from the society and cause them to lose something important in the future. Lucynell has a clear physical disability given from the beginning of the story, but her disability actually emphasizes her innocence compared to other characters in the story. Tom Shiftlet also has a physical disability but shows more of his mental disability where he shows sides of a hypocrite and along with great obsession. Mrs. Crater, similarly to Tom, shows great obsession and greed but in the ends fails to gain what she really wants to and loses what is important to her.