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In The Story of My Life, Helen Keller recounts her life before and after "the most important day in all my life" (chapter 4), that being the day Annie Sullivan arrives. The book is an autobiographical account of Helen's first twenty-two years in which Helen attempts to provide inspiration to those who find life's struggles almost unbearable. Before Annie's arrival, and despite her frustrations, Helen describes Christmases as "a delight." It is the "smells... and tidbits" (chapter 2) that Helen enjoys the most rather than the actual event itself and Helen admits that she is never inspired to rise particularly early in the morning to receive presents.
Helen's life changes dramatically after Anne Sullivan's arrival and in chapter 8, Helen talks about the family's first Christmas with Miss Sullivan. Having learnt "language," Helen can now enjoy the subtleties and "mystery" of Christmas. Now it is Helen who lies awake at night and who wakes the family early in the morning on Christmas morning and who delights in the discovery of presents everywhere. It is the canary that Annie gives her that makes her "cup of happiness overflow." Therefore, even though Helen loved Christmas before she learnt to communicate effectively, how different Christmases are after she "learnt from life itself" (chapter 7).
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