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What is an instance from the text as to how nature can be regarded as a teacher in The...

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nilasougaijam | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM via web

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What is an instance from the text as to how nature can be regarded as a teacher in The Story of My Life by Helen Keller?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM (Answer #1)

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Helen learns about perseverance from a storm.

One example of nature acting as a teacher is when Helen was about seven years old and she was in a tree during a storm.  She learned to persevere even when things are difficult, because she loved trees so much she couldn’t stay away even when she was afraid.

Helen is walking one day with her teacher when they stop at a tree and decide to have lunch.  Helen promises to wait in the tree while Miss Sullivan goes to get lunch, but a storm comes in.  She is very frightened.

I felt absolutely alone, cut off from my friends and the firm earth. The immense, the unknown, enfolded me. I remained still and expectant; a chilling terror crept over me. I longed for my teacher's return; but above all things I wanted to get down from that tree.

Helen says she learned that nature wages war on “her children,” but the lesson she really learned is that the world can be a dangerous place, but you need to live in it anyway.  Enjoying the good things tides you over for suffering the bad things.

Helen is afraid of trees for a while, until the smells draw her back.  She is able to get into a tree again, and finds the experience pleasant.

 After that I spent many happy hours in my tree of paradise, thinking fair thoughts and dreaming bright dreams.

Helen learned that you can’t be afraid of the world, even though it is dangerous sometimes. This is especially important for a blind and deaf child, because the world is more dangerous for her than the rest of us.  Helen learned to take life as it came, and be cautious but not paranoid.  She learned that it’s best to tackle your fears, and get back up in the tree.

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