The Story of My Life by Helen Keller is a true life story written by Helen which details the first twenty-one years of her life. There are many characters who are instrumental in her development. One of the most important of those is her mother, whose "loving wisdom" (ch 2) Helen cherishes and who allows Helen some measure of independence. Helen recalls the time she cuts Martha Washington's hair and the time she tries to tip her baby sister out of a cot that Helen has reserved for her doll Nancy. Each time her mother is on hand. Helen's father is a man who is "most loving and indulgent," and between them her parents arrange for the meeting in Baltimore with a doctor who will refer them to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell. Helen knows how important he is in her life and mentions that the first interview with him (in chapter 3) was "the door through which I should pass from darkness into light."
Annie Sullivan is responsible for Helen's "soul's sudden awakening" (ch 5) and, having encouraged Helen to "think," she helps Helen reach her full potential. Helen admits that "My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her" (ch 7). Helen admits that it is Annie who "turns drudgery into pleasure" (ch 18) and it is Annie's patience and understanding of Helen's situation that ensures that Helen remains motivated through the most difficult times.
William Endicott and his daughter evoke fond memories in Helen and their kindness encourages Helen to call Boston "the city of kind hearts." Miss Fuller helps Helen learn the elements of speech which allow her to repeat her first sentence, "It is warm" (ch 13). Mr. Anagnos of the Perkins' Institute sends Annie to Helen and becomes a firm friend and "loves me tenderly" (ch 14), although their relationship will be irreparably damaged after "The Frost King affair." Helen has a special friendship with Mr. John P. Spaulding of Boston who makes "everyone happy in a beautiful, unobtrusive way" (ch 17).
Helen knows that all the people she comes into contact with make a contribution to her life and she "learns from life itself."
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