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The Story of My Life

by Helen Keller

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Analyse chapters 13 14 15 of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.

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The Story of My Life by Helen Keller tracks many of the events that affect Helen and contribute to her development. Each event provides Helen with a lesson and, even the most difficult experiences are opportunities for her to "learn from life itself."(ch 7) Chapter 13 begins with a particularly important development as Helen learns to speak in the spring of 1890. Having heard the story of a deaf girl, Ragnhild Kaata who learnt to speak, Helen wastes no time and, although her speech is difficult to understand by most people, that first sentence "It is warm" (ch 13) provides Helen with the inspiration to not give up and her mantra is "practice, practice, practice."  

The story of "The Frost King" from the winter of 1892 is something that will remain with Helen after she was accused of copying the story from Margaret Canby who wrote "The Frost Fairies." After this, Helen feels "unease and disquietude" when she is writing for fear she may be plagiarizing someone else words although she was cleared of any wrongdoing, not purposefully having repeated much of Miss Canby's story. Helen's friendship with Mr Anagnos of The Perkins' Institute for the Blind, for whom Helen apparently wrote The Frost King, is irrevocably damaged and Helen "drank...of the cup of bitterness" (ch 14) feeling that she has disgraced herself and embarrassed her friend. Helen learns a valuable lesson from this experience and, gains "a truer knowledge of life."(ch 15)

In 1893, putting this difficult experience behind her, Helen visits Niagara Falls where she feels "the air vibrate and the earth tremble," and The World Fair, both of which have an enormous effect on her. Helen spends time with Dr Alexander Graham Bell and learns many fascinating things to the point that she learns "appreciation of the real and the earnest in the workaday world."

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