In Chapter 9 of Hellen Keller's autobiography, why was Helen taken to Boston? How did Nancy lose her shape and features? Why was Helen keenly surprised and disappointed to know a lot of the pilgrims? Who are the "men" in the lines "idealized them as the bravest and the most generous men that ever sought a home in a strange land"?
1) Why was Helen taken to Boston?
It appears that the main reason Helen was taken to Boston was to meet with blind children her own age at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. While there, she was encouraged and delighted to find other children who shared her disability and who were ready to engage in hearty play with her. While in Boston, she also visited historical sites such as Bunker Hill and Plymouth.
2) How did Nancy lose her shape and features?
Due to her dirty state, the laundress at the Perkins Institution secretly took Nancy (Helen's rag doll) away for laundering. The washing was so vigorous as to cause her to lose her shape and features.
3) Why was Helen keenly surprised and disappointed to know a lot of the pilgrims?
Helen was keenly surprised and disappointed to know of what she terms as the Pilgrims' "acts of persecution" which made her "tingle with shame." Here, she is referring to conflict between Pilgrims and Native Americans, where both sides suffered casualties and violent atrocities at each other's hands. Read the account. (Scroll down to the title: Relations With Native Americans.)
5) "I idealized them as the bravest and the most generous men that ever sought a home in a strange land." Who were the "men" referred to in these lines?
The men referred to in these lines were the Pilgrims.