10-second review: The inner thoughts of a disabled person. He analyzes his condition, the responses of others to him, and understands that his disability has advantages as well as disadvantages. He insists especially on developing and recognizing his individuality as opposed to the belief of those whom he encounters that disabled people do not have the potential for success as do the healthy.
Quote: “When he has been through the neglect and struggles of a handicapped and ill-favored man himself, he will begin to understand the feelings of all the horde of the unpresentable and the unemployable, the incompetent and the ugly, the queer and crotchety people who make up so large a portion of human folk.” p. 63.
Comment: A remarkably contemporary essay. RayS.
Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan.