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Please provide a character sketch of Anne Sullivan from The Story of My Life by Helen...

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appukarthik | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:15 AM via web

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Please provide a character sketch of Anne Sullivan from The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 10, 2013 at 8:35 AM (Answer #1)

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The Story of My Life reveals Annie Sullivan as the inspiration behind Helen Keller's extraordinary life. She is only partially-sighted herself, after undergoing surgery to correct her vision at a young age and herself having been educated at The Perkins Institute for The Blind, a place instrumental in Helen Keller's own development.

Anne Sullivan, Annie, is the person responsible for "the most important day I remember in all my life" (ch 5) as Helen recognizes Annie's contribution throughout her life as teacher, interpreter, friend, companion and motivator. Annie never misses an opportunity to teach Helen, whether it be academically or life skills. She teaches Helen an appreciation in even the smallest detail: "in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand."(ch 5) Annie has the capacity to help Helen connect with nature and "made me feel that 'birds and flowers and I were happy peers.'"(ch 5)

One of Annie Sullivan's most instrumental effects is felt when she makes Helen "Think." It is this that helps Helen make the connection between the abstract and the physical as "you feel the sweetness that it (love) pours into everything."(ch 6) Annie makes "every subject so real that I could not help remembering."(ch 7) So profound is the impact that Annie Sullivan has on Helen that "her being is inseparable from my own, and (that) the footsteps of my life are in hers." (ch 7)

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