Describe Annie Sullivan. What kind of a young woman was she? Cite three examples from the play to support your views.

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Annie Sullivan is a 20-year-old woman from Massachusetts. Having experienced the loss of sight and receiving help at her school, she has empathy for Helen and the desire to help her. Annie is an orphan who grew up poor. She values education and independence and has the courage and fierce...

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Annie Sullivan is a 20-year-old woman from Massachusetts. Having experienced the loss of sight and receiving help at her school, she has empathy for Helen and the desire to help her. Annie is an orphan who grew up poor. She values education and independence and has the courage and fierce determination to stand up to bullies like Captain Keller. Smart and systematic, she develops and applies a teaching method that ultimately succeeds.

When the reader is first introduced to Annie, William Gibson describes her eye condition as trauchoma, a condition that has caused growth on her eyes. Following her brother’s death, she grew up at the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. As she prepares to leave for her new job, she tells the director that living there “taught her what help is.”

Annie’s first few days in the Keller home do not go smoothly due to Helen’s acting out and the family’s indulgence of her behavior. At the table, when Annie insists on keeping the plate that Helen has upset, Captain Keller starts ordering her around. She refuses his orders, challenges the idea that she should “pity” Helen, and asks him to leave the room so she can teach Helen.

Annie’s method is to teach Helen letters by spelling into her palm. Once she has learned to make the forms, she can make the connection with their meaning. Annie’s method is for Helen to “imitate now, understand later.” She later tells Kate it might take “a million and one words” before Helen understands.

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