Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

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In The Miracle Worker, what was Annie Sullivan named because she was a good student at The Perkins' Institute?

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In The Miracle Worker, when Annie Sullivan arrives at the Keller's home with the intention of teaching Helen, the blind deaf and mute child, she is faced with a family who pities Helen but who cannot control her outbursts and violent temper tantrums. Annie is a bold young woman and, as Mr Anganos from The Perkins' Institute has told her, she has little or no tact in the presence of others and states her case emphatically every time. This will cause a clash of personalities with Helen's father Captain Keller who finds Annie to be very demanding, commenting that they "Certainly rear a peculiar kind of young woman in the North."(Act 1) He is inclined to dismiss her when he discovers her youth and that this is her first job, having come to them from The Perkins' Institute where she was named valedictorian, as Kate Keller is keen to tell her husband in her efforts to secure Annie's position. Kate is desperate for someone to help Helen.   

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