Define the first meeting of Helen Keller with Alexander Graham Bell.

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boomer-sooner | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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     If the goal is to define the meeting as a memorable experience for either, especially for Keller it would best be described as an awakening for her.  During their first meeting in 1886 when she was six, Keller later recalled Bell playing his pocket watch chime so she could feel the vibration.  This proved a pivotal point in her life and she said Bell understood her and she immediately loved him for it.

     There is little doubt this first trip underscored three very important ideas for young Keller.  First, there is little doubt she remembered imagery from her youth before blindness.  She described colors, shapes and phantom visions later in life.  This gave her a sense of something more than she could perceive, but she knew others could.  Second, the mere vibration confirmed to her there was much more to the world than she was experiencing.  Third, she knew there was someone out there who understood her and wanted to help.

     These three ideas played a large role in her life and childhood and led to unimaginable frustration for her.  Bell gave her hope for the future, even if he was unable to fulfill it.  However, Bell was able to point her on the road which eventually brought Anne Sullivan into her life, who became her greatest teacher.  As Keller grew Bell became an important male figure in her life, championing deaf causes and teaching Keller about the marvels of life.

     Simply defined, Bell acted as a savior for young Keller and gave her the first rays of hope in a confusing and frustrating world.

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