Helen Keller’s autobiography Story of my Life (published in 1902) tells of Keller’s life growing up, and shares many of her own personal experiences with her family, their family’s cook’s daughter: Martha Washington, and her teacher: Mrs.Sullivan. Keller fell ill at a young age, and even though she survived, it left her not only deaf, but blind as well. The first few years after losing her sight and her hearing, Keller found it extremely tough to communicate with her family as it tore her down mentally. This was extremely irritating to her because she could not properly communicate what she wanted to say. It was very difficult and irritating, for the obvious reasons, i.e. she had to improvise and adapt and overcome due to her physical disabilities. This caused her father to get in contact with Alexander Graham Bell, who referred her to Anne Sullivan. Mrs.Sullivan taught Keller the names of things such as water, and taught her this by having her feel the object and then she would draw the letters of the words for Helen on her hand, and eventually Keller learned what they were through imitation. Though she did not know what she was doing, nor why she was doing it, she eventually had an epiphany and came to the conclusion that everything has a different name. With this in mind, Keller started to learn new words at a much faster rate. By the time she was 7 years old, she knew around 60 different signs. Soon after learning many new words, Helen learned to read by having her act out a sentence with objects, and she eventually learned to read entire books.
After this, Helen wanted to learn to speak, which people thought would be impossible. Low and behold, Mrs.Sullivan took her to the Horace Mann school. There, she met Miss Fuller who taught her how to form words and eventually speak full sentences, to which she was looking forward to being able to speak with her family and friends. This opened up a whole new path of possibilities for Keller which she followed later in her life. She went to a school in New York City where she learned about history, and math as well as speaking foreign languages such as German, Latin, and French. She also went to college in Massachusetts, but was eventually taken out by her mother due to her disagreement with the school’s principal to try and lighted Helen’s work load. Overall, it can be said that this disabilities for Helen Keller were both mentally and physically extremely difficult for her get past it; however she was able to adapt and overcome these challenges. From this we can assume that she had an extremely strong will and was determined to get past whatever came her way.
Things I learned from the book:
Born June 27, 1880 up until the date of June 1st 1968 at the age of 88 due to natural causes
Helen Keller was an avid reader
The daughter of her family’s cook helped Helen learn some form of sign language to help her communicate with her family
She often became frustrated when trying to learn new words because she did not know that each object had a different name.
She knew around 60 different signs at the age of 7
Helen loved dogs, as she had a few dogs in her childhood
One of the first words she learned was ‘water,’ which she learned by having Mrs.Sullivan spell the words for Helen on her hand.
Helen also learned how to communicate with other people by touching their lips while the person was talking
Helen Keller was a good friend of author Mark Twain as well as his daughter
Helen was friends with Alexander Graham Bell (he taught her some methods of how to speak) Helen Keller learned how to speak
Her father was a captain for the Confederate army
She attended school at Radford college (she was also the first deaf and blind student to attend school there)
Helen attended the Perkins Institute for her education
Helen learned at least three languages other than English: French, German, as well as Latin!
I also learned that Helen Keller attended the Horace Mann school
Personally, I absolutely hated this book. If I had to rate the book, I would probably rate it -100,000/10. While it is very impressive that Helen Keller was able to write books as a blind person, it was just so boring! I hated every single moment I had to spend reading this book, and it easily made this my least favorite assignment that I’ve ever had to do for school. I have the attention span of a spoon, and it was excruciatingly painful to read. I absolutely loathe this book because of how boring it was, and I hardly found any of it interesting, as well! There was not a whole lot of imagery to it, either which made the book extremely boring. It did not describe much about what she was feeling during the moment. To some extent, I can understand why there was not a lot of imagery, but I do wish she would have (at the very least) described more about what she felt in some moments like when she was trying to learn new words and got frustrated. I want to know what was going through her head when she was trying to learn the names of different objects, and how she felt when she learned how to communicate with other people. Telling about your own personal experiences (at least, in a book), can only get a person so far. In retrospect, I can respect that she went to college, and was the first deaf and blind person to attend college and that she overcame her obstacles, I still heavily disliked this book.