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Miss Annie Sullivan was also blind so how is it that in chapter 9 the narrator says...

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user3243963 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM via web

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Miss Annie Sullivan was also blind so how is it that in chapter 9 the narrator says that, "I sat quietly beside Miss Sullivan, taking in with eager interest all that she told me about what she saw out of the car window: the beautiful Tennessee river..."

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

Posted August 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM (Answer #1)

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Miss Sullivan, the teacher who, for Helen Keller "set my spirit free" (ch 1) was partially sighted. She contracted an eye disease at the age of five but this did not deter her from pursuing her dreams of getting an education and her determined spirit ensured she was accepted. even as poor as she was, at the Perkins Institute for the Blind.

In The Story of My Life, Annie Sullivan's arrival marks "the most important day I remember in all my life" (ch 4) and her teaching methods allow Helen to learn in an environment that is conducive to getting the most out of her. Helen's "soul's sudden awakening" (ch 5) is thanks to Miss Sullivan's tremendous patience, her own determination and having been taught at The Perkins' Institute. 

When Helen and Miss Sullivan then are travelling to Boston, Annie is therefore able to tell Helen what she sees. Her appreciation is heightened and she shares this with Helen.   

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