The Miracle Worker Questions and Answers
by William Gibson

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What are the differences and similarities between Annie Sullivan and Kate Keller in the play the Miracle Worker?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I can't even tell you what fun I had answering your question!  I love this play and know most of it by heart, but never really explored these two characters as a pair.  What an interesting set of characters to compare!  There are many more differences than similarities in these two characters, so let me begin with the similarities and end with the all-important differences.

Both of these women want to help Helen and serve as a mother-figure in some way.  Yes, it is redundant to say that the two are both women, but that is the first (and the most obvious similarity).  They also both serve as a mother figure in some way.  Kate, of course, is Helen's real mom.  Annie, of course, is Helen's teacher, but especially when she spends a few months apart from the family in the small cottage adjoining the property, Helen has to learn to depend on Annie for the necessities of life.  The most important similarity that both women share is the desire to help Helen.  I will go even further and...

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