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From Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, what does Helen mean by "my...

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ramadevir | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM via web

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From Helen Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, what does Helen mean by "my soul's sudden awakening?

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

Posted July 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM (Answer #1)

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In The Story of My Life, Helen Keller relates many of the important and life-changing events that take place in her young life. The arrival of Ann Sullivan who is "to set my spirit free" (chapter 1) begins Helen's education and ultimate acceptance into Radcliffe College -a feat for any hearing and sighted person, and so much of an accomplishment for a disabled female at the turn of the twentieth century.

Even as a baby, Helen is an inquisitive child and, after her illness which leaves her blind and deaf, she retains her independent spirit. This often gets her into trouble and her frustration at her lack of communication skills and inability to make herself understood often lead to temper tantrums - "sometimes hourly." (Ch 3).

Ann Sullivan perseveres with Helen, spelling words into her hand but Helen does not at first make the connection. When she eventually does realize that the spelling means something it is as if "the mystery of language was revealed to me" (Ch 4). Helen acknowledges a "strange new sight" and the fact that  the word "W-A-T-E-R" has "awakened my soul."

Chapter 5 then begins with Helen's "soul's sudden awakening" as everything takes on a real meaning for her.  At last, Helen's "silent" world has shifted and she feels a "kinship with the rest of the world." Things make sense and Helen is at last able to start communicating effectively, even if the journey is still long.

 

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appukarthik | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted September 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM (Answer #2)

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In The Story of My Life, Helen Keller relates many of the important and life-changing events that take place in her young life. The arrival of Ann Sullivan who is "to set my spirit free" (chapter 1) begins Helen's education and ultimate acceptance into Radcliffe College -a feat for any hearing and sighted person, and so much of an accomplishment for a disabled female at the turn of the twentieth century.

Even as a baby, Helen is an inquisitive child and, after her illness which leaves her blind and deaf, she retains her independent spirit. This often gets her into trouble and her frustration at her lack of communication skills and inability to make herself understood often lead to temper tantrums - "sometimes hourly." (Ch 3).

Ann Sullivan perseveres with Helen, spelling words into her hand but Helen does not at first make the connection. When she eventually does realize that the spelling means something it is as if "the mystery of language was revealed to me" (Ch 4). Helen acknowledges a "strange new sight" and the fact that  the word "W-A-T-E-R" has "awakened my soul."

Chapter 5 then begins with Helen's "soul's sudden awakening" as everything takes on a real meaning for her.  At last, Helen's "silent" world has shifted and she feels a "kinship with the rest of the world." Things make sense and Helen is at last able to start communicating effectively, even if the journey is still long.

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