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From The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, what was Helen's first experience at...

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user1196243 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM via web

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From The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, what was Helen's first experience at the coast like? Explain?

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

Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Helen Keller was a very tactile person and for good reason. She was left blind and deaf after an illness when she was a baby. Touch was therefore an especially important sense for her, along with her well-developed sense of smell which helped guide her to various locations within her own garden and, as she grew older, obviously beyond. 

 From The Story of My Life, readers can understand a little of her "dayless" life and the struggles, challenges and successes that mainly followed the arrival of Ann Sullivan who "set my spirit free."(Ch 1)As the family lives in inland in Alabama, Helen's only exposure to the ocean is  through a book she reads called "Our World" and so Helen is well-prepared for this vast, "roaring" sea.

There is no sense of fear and Helen makes for the water without hesitation. The experience, which fills her with " an exquisite, quivering joy" is short-lived and she slips and goes under, momentarily terrified because "the good, firm earth" that Helen has a grasp on is gone and she feels helpless in the "all-enveloping" environment.

Fortunately, Helen is pushed back to land and rescued by Ann Sullivan. Her terror does not last long and she recovers from her ordeal and loves being by the sea, hearing nad feeling " the dash and roar of the rushing sea!"

Helen catches a crab and takes it home. She is disappointed when it escapes but does realise that it has probably - and hopefully - returned to the sea.   

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appukarthik | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM (Answer #2)

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Helen Keller was a very tactile person and for good reason. She was left blind and deaf after an illness when she was a baby. Touch was therefore an especially important sense for her, along with her well-developed sense of smell which helped guide her to various locations within her own garden and, as she grew older, obviously beyond. 

 From The Story of My Life, readers can understand a little of her "dayless" life and the struggles, challenges and successes that mainly followed the arrival of Ann Sullivan who "set my spirit free."(Ch 1)As the family lives in inland in Alabama, Helen's only exposure to the ocean is  through a book she reads called "Our World" and so Helen is well-prepared for this vast, "roaring" sea.

There is no sense of fear and Helen makes for the water without hesitation. The experience, which fills her with " an exquisite, quivering joy" is short-lived and she slips and goes under, momentarily terrified because "the good, firm earth" that Helen has a grasp on is gone and she feels helpless in the "all-enveloping" environment.

Fortunately, Helen is pushed back to land and rescued by Ann Sullivan. Her terror does not last long and she recovers from her ordeal and loves being by the sea, hearing nad feeling " the dash and roar of the rushing sea!"

Helen catches a crab and takes it home. She is disappointed when it escapes but does realise that it has probably - and hopefully - returned to the sea.

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