Helen Keller once said “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved’ (Keller). This determined woman was an advocate for women’s suffrage, the poor and disabled, and a socialist who wrote many powerful books and essays. Helen’s world was very dark and it was silent, yet she made it possible to let light in and was able to become what she desired. Through her trials, Helen Keller created a lasting impact by showing the world that even the disabled are capable of accomplishing unforgettable things.
Helen’s childhood was probably the most challenging stage of her life. When Helen was born, she was a bright child. She learned to speak quickly, and constantly had a smile on her face. An unexpected event approached Helen and changed her life and her family’s. An article from History Reference Center says this about Helen’s disease “ When she was 19 months old, however, she caught a fever. When she recovered, she could no longer see or hear.” (DeAngelis) Helen could no longer communicate with her family like she used to. In that time period, it was difficult to find good doctors for the disabled. The Keller’s searched, but no one was willing to help their daughter. Helen was frustrated, as she could feel the vibrations of people’s lips moving, but she was not able to make words come out of her own. Every day was a struggle and Helen did not improve her skills. According to “Breaking Through” the author says “Her parents felt sorry for her. They let her run around half wild, and she threw tantrums when she did not get her way.” (DeAngelis) Helen often ate from others plates with her hands, her parents were avoiding making their daughter upset because she was already experiencing a trial at such a young age. However her parents did not know that they were also slowing down her possible improvement. Helen needed a teacher, who could help Helen live a more beneficial life. The next few years could change everything, if she was willing to put in the effort.
The main event that changed Helen’s life was when she learned to read and write. The Perkins school finally found a teacher, her name was Anne Sullivan, she was partially blind and had never been a teacher before. After a lot of patience and empathy, Ms. Sullivan was able to teach Helen what many would not be able to in a lifetime. According to the AFB “Helen quickly proceeded to master the alphabet, both manual, and in raised print for blind readers, and gained facility in reading and writing.” (American foundation for the blind) Helen was a little fighter and was able to learn words by spelling into her palms. Anne moved Helen into a cottage, so they could be separated from her parents. It was a huge step, for Helen had never been separated from her mother. Within a few months, Helen had learned hundreds of words. Anne also taught her braille, so Helen was able to learn from school text books. Helen had achieved an education and could be a student just like any other. The American foundation for the blind commented this, “She entered Radcliffe in the fall of 1900 and received a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in 1904, the first deaf and blind person to do so.” (American foundation for the blind) Helen Keller, a graduated deaf and blind young woman had fought with her teacher so that one day she might be able to help others overcome their challenges as well. Now that Helen achieved her goal of being able to communicate she was now able to go on with her life. She earned her place after all those years, and so many people were proud.
Helen Keller was in for the long run and she was ready to create a lasting impact and a better society. In 1934, Anne Sullivan died , it completely crushed Helen’s heart. Her teacher, her companion and best friend had been with her for over 50 years. However Helen wanted to keep her legacy by accomplishing things they had in mind, and in this case it had to be without Anne. In the article Speaking out Quicke states “What is remarkable is not her personality was constructed in this way, but that she managed to construct a public life, including a political career, on such a fragile emotional base.” (Quicke 171) Helen became a socialist and learned to speak for herself. Before the outbreak of the first world war she spoke at conferences about antiwar and being prepared. Her words spoke to the people and she was a great influence on society. Helen Keller and the Empire of the Normal says “Combined with the book’s upbeat tone and inspirational message, this helped the story of my life enjoy almost universal critical acclaim and popular success.” (Tourville) Helen’s story touched the world and gave them hope that if she can, everyone can. Helen wrote 475 speeches and essays with the theme of triumph over adversity. Her extraordinary abilities have lead her to be able to express her emotions with limited sensory. Helen’s impact can be seen in the world today because she taught society that anything can be achieved with perseverance and hardwork.
Without sight and hearing, a woman of great faith was able to conquer the world. Through her trials, Helen Keller created a lasting impact by showing the world that even the disabled are capable of making a difference. She made her life a little more challenging in order to improve the lives of others. In present day, the blind can communicate by reading braille and the deaf can communicate by using sign language, all made by Helen Keller’s example. She left a legacy of triumphing over adversity, an attribute society should seek to obtain.