Nancy Mairs Strength

Katie Welsh
Anth 272

Many of the strongest people we see today experience many tragedies. This is clear in Nancy Mair’s story “On Being a Cripple.” Mair’s character is consistently empowering, yet the way she expresses her experience being a “cripple” is obviously frustrating for her. In this reading response I will discuss the complexity and strength of Nancy’s character.
At the beginning of the story Mair’s clearly tell the audience that is self aware when she discusses falling in a bathroom stall. She tells the audience that she couldn’t help but laugh at herself after falling and struggling to get up because she is crippled. Yet, begins to explain that she would not have been able to laugh at herself had she not been alone. This is an example of Mair’s complexity and strength.
Mair is complex because she realizes that her mishap is unfortunate and frustrating. Yet, she is also has enough self-awareness to not take herself so seriously. On top of not being in denial and she identifies a key issues with how society perceives disability and in her article she discusses how societies response (even though it is kind) can end up being limiting and frustrating for someone who is disabled.
At the beginning of her story she says “One may also loses one’s sense of humor. That’s the easiest to lose and the hardest to survive without.” This quote show the strength and empowerment of Mairs character. She is identifying that being crippled is not easy, and there are many things that she may not get to experience again, but she also realizes that life is short and there are many beautiful wonderful things that she still gets to experience. Therefor her sense of humor is a mechanism of strength (when used appropriately).
In this article I have argued the complexities and strengths of Nancy Mair’s character by using her example of falling in a bathroom stall and her ability to laugh at the situation.