The Story of My Life Essay - Critical Context

Critical Context

The primary theme of The Story of My Life—the struggle to overcome great adversity—is a common concern of many young adult novels and biographies. Keller’s story itself has been the subject of many other biographies written for children and young adults, such as Eileen Bigland’s The True Book About Helen Keller (1957), Marion Brown and Ruth Crone’s The Silent Storm (1963), Stewart and Polly Anne Graff’s Helen Keller: Toward the Light (1965), and Nancy Kelton’s The Finger Game Miracle (1977). In addition, William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker (1957) has been widely performed and adapted in various film versions. All these other works, however, are largely indebted to Keller’s own books, particularly The Story of My Life.

Keller’s autobiography is also similar to many other books about children and young adults who overcome disabilities. At the same time, Keller, like the protagonists of many novels for young readers, is an outsider, one who struggles with becoming a part of the world around her. Ultimately, Keller’s own story will continue to appeal to readers because it is an honest, well-written account of her early years and her feelings about them.