Describe the character of Anne Sullivan from The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. 

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the reasons why Helen Keller chose to write her autobiography, The Story of My Life is to give tribute to Annie Sullivan and others for the enormous contribution they made to her success despite adversity, after Helen was left blind and deaf after an illness. Annie Sullivan "set my spirit free"(ch 1) and teaches Helen the meaning of real tangible things but also teaches her about abstract ideas like love. Helen is struggling to understand the meaning of love and Annie has been trying to introduce abstract concepts to Helen. Once she grasps the meaning, she feels "the sweetness that it pours into everything"(ch 6) and, encouraged by Annie to "think," can now move forward.  

It is Annie's "untiring perseverance and devotion" (ch 13)that allows Helen to develop and the way she encourages Helen to "learn from life itself."(ch 7). Annie always "speaks" to Helen as she would a "hearing child" but spelling the sentences into Helen's hand rather than speaking them. 

Annie Sullivan is patient and perseveres with Helen to the point that Helen thinks of her as "so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her." This shows Annie's dedication. 

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The Story of My Life

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