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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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After returning home from their summer in Cape Cod, Sullivan and Keller joined the rest of the Keller family, who decided to spend the autumn months at their summer cottage, nearby Fern Quarry. While there, the Kellers entertained many visitors and Keller delighted in the wonderful smells of the food prepared for the guests. There was a train in Fern Quarry, and it ran on a long trestle that spanned a gorge. One day, while Keller, Sullivan, and Keller’s sister, Mildred, were out walking, they were stuck on the trestle when the train was coming and barely made it across in time. ....
The rest of the chapter summary can be found on the enotes.com study guide for 'The Story of My Life" by Helen Keller. Check it out!
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