Egn. Comp. 1
In his essay, "The Catbird Seat", author David Birnbaum relates to his
experiences as a quadriplegic. Birnbaum who was always strapped to his
wheelchair, learns that his new place in society is a person with a disability.
Although Birnbaum doesn't strongly express it , his essay reveals that there is so
much more to those who have a disability than what everyone sees and judges.
People who have disabilities are not as helpless as we often imagine them to be.
Birnbaum does not complain or put pitty on his disability, he is always sarcastic in a
sense and wittingly views it as something to claim to certain rights, claiming his
disability is only fair for the misfortunes of his life.
First, Birnbaum starts his essay with an occurance as a teenager taking the
elevator in a wheelchair. Birnbaum realized that even if he had no legs, there are so
many new opportunities that are opened to him. Birnbaum was somtimes
considered as a minor or insignificant to others, which he now starts to enjoy
because of his incapabilty to walk on two feet. He relates the experience of being
favored over a pregnant woman and how that made him feel. Birnbaum discovering
that the world rarely looks at him with pity, sympathy or compassion, he realized that
this is all that they may see. That he has accepted his disability. "I have a successful
career and live independently". Birnbaum said in his essay. "I wanted people to
treat me like everyone else", but people didn't.
Next, Birnbaum decides to take advantage of his situation instead of feeling
sorry for him self. He cut corners, pretty much beat the system. He would sneak in
alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and took advantage of people's concerns with his
appearence by happily accepting different things. For instance, he would accept
flight upgrades and even took home grocery baskets he would...