See Think

Allow me to draw your attention to Adam Mars-Jones's essay "Cinematically Challenged" in the collection Blind Bitter Happiness. The author picks up the description of a film scene to reflect thus :

The character is in a wheelchair, essentially, because some people are. The chair says no more about its owner than, say, a bicycle or skateboard -- except that its user doesn't ride a bicycle or a skate board. The actor playing the character may or may not use a wheelchair when the camera isn't turning. [...]

Mars-Jones goes on to talk about the neutral portrayal of disabled characters. This particular passage for me highlights an excellent departure point for discussion i.e. the gap between representation and reality — the place where it is possible to imagine the possible. Insightful critics are able to imagine themselves as other and resist the lure of easy identification. Mars-Jones knows that not all his readers are wheelchair bound — some die before they get there.

And so for day 61