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In The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, Helen reveals how books are one of her major inspirations. Little Lord Fauntleroy, a children's classic novel is the book that begins Helen's love of books and she goes as far as calling books her "book friends" (chapter 21), recognizing the huge role they play in her education and development. With the help of Miss Sullivan who tirelessly signs into Helen's hand, and Helen's inspirational teachers, Helen is taught to read in different languages and develops an appreciation for structure and grammar that she previously disliked intensely. Some of the literary works she reads include complex works that would challenge even the most promising sighted and hearing scholar.
Helen does not enjoy all the literary works she reads but knows that they make a contribution to her overall learning experience anyway. She does not like The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan and even admits that she may not have actually finished it. La Fonteine's Fables are also among those that she dislikes and, even after reading them in English and French, she maintains that dislike. Helen does not like the animal imagery and finds it almost nonsensical because "monkeys and foxes" should not be tasked with sharing "momentous truths." On the other hand, The Jungle Book is one of her favorites because, although it also features animals, it does not present "caricatures of men" in its attempts to teach a moral. Helen reads Shakespeare, Macbeth being her favorite, and she has loved much of Shakespeare since she was a child. Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aenid also add to her impressive list of titles.
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