On Being A Cripple Letter Analysis

1328 Words 6 Pages
Unfortunately, a variety of deadly diseases exist, leaving people to battle for their lives every day. Many people feel helpless and lose hope at a certain stage in their disease, whereas others, fight back and continue to live their life to its fullest potential. In the personal essays “On Being a Cripple” written by Nancy Mairs and “Living Under Circe’s Spell” written by Matthew Soyster, both authors have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a severe disease in which they approach differently.Through a very negative tone, Soyster addresses those who do not have MS, by sharing the limitations and restrictions the terrible disease has on his life. On the other hand, Mairs uses a motivating persona to argue that nothing should stop a person from doing what …show more content…
Soyster’s pessimistic tone detracts from the meaning of his essay, whereas Mairs’ inspiring tone motivates her readers to push themselves through the hardships of the disease. Although Mairs and Soyster approach their disease differently, both use similar devices such as persona, pathos, and structure. Each author uses these literary devices in distinctive ways, strengthening or weakening their essays. Both Mairs’ and Soyster’s persona define their mindset toward MS. Although they use their tone to help shape the essay, their attitudes are very distinct and contrasting. Soyster uses an extremely negative tone while talking about the monstrous disease, MS, that has taken over him. As the stages of Soyster’s disease progress, he feels he “had to give up activities and passions that define him” (2). Soyster allows MS to take over not only his entire body but his life as well. Rather than fight against his disease, Soyster remains stuck in a state of feeling helpless and pitiful. His persona toward MS makes it clear how exceptionally sorry he feels for himself. Soyster is truly living a miserable and unhappy life due to an inherited disease. Controlling the controllables, such as one’s attitude and thoughts, is one …show more content…
Soyster’s attitude toward MS is negative and shows he is unwilling to make a change to the miserable life he is living. Throughout the course of his essay, he puts one word in its own paragraph, “waiting” (2). Not only does the word waiting have its own individual paragraph, it is the last word on the entire essay. This word carries a significant meaning to it in the time and place the author chose to put it. Rather than attempting to make a change to his life, or even explore new parts of the world, Soyster chooses to remain stuck in a place where he is miserable. He is waiting until the day he dies because he feels he is not capable of accomplishing his goals, whereas if he believed he could and set his mind to it, he would be able to achieve more than he knows. In addition, Mairs also structures her personal essay in a similar manner to Soyster’s, placing emphasis on one phrase or word by using them as the only written words in a single paragraph. While discussing who she truly is, Mairs states in her own paragraph that “[she] is not a disease” (4). Mairs does not allow the disease to define her as a person and what she is capable of taking on. Nothing, not even a disease, will stop Mairs from living the life she was born to live. By placing the words “I am not a disease” in her own paragraph, Mairs displays the importance of those five words, which stick out to the reader and carry a large

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