Give a character sketch of Mr. Jefferson from The Story of My Life.

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Mr. Jefferson (his full name was Joseph Jefferson, 1829-1905) was a talented actor who was a friend of Helen Keller. In her book, The Story of My Life, she describes going to see him when she was studying in New York, and she felt his movements while playing Rip Van Winkle. While she had read the play, she only understood what she describes as "the charm of Rip's slow, quaint, kind ways" after she visits Mr. Jefferson and feels his movements in the play. She describes his acting as beautiful and pathetic, meaning it creates pathos or sympathetic feeling, in the audience. Helen Keller goes behind the stage and is allowed to feel Mr. Jefferson's face, hair, and costume so that she can really experience the play.

Helen Keller also visits Mr. Jefferson in Boston, where he acts out his part from The Rivals. She is allowed to feel the movements of the play, and he also asks her to guess which gestures should go along with the actions in Rip Van Winkle. Mr. Jefferson is clearly a compassionate and patient man with a great deal of sympathy and interest in helping Helen Keller and encouraging her love of the theatre. 

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Mr. Jefferson was an actor who later became a friend of Helen Keller.  His name was Joseph Jefferson, but he went by Joe.  

Helen initially saw Mr. Jefferson as a stage actor during the time when she was living in New York City.  She was attending school there.  Helen saw him in the play Rip Van Winkle, where he played the role of the title character.  Helen described his performance as charming her and she thought that he played his character marvelously.  After the performance, Anne Sullivan took Helen backstage.  There she met the actor.  He was patient as he let Helen touch his face.  

They soon became friends.  He once visited Helen while in Boston with his son.  He reenacted parts of a play for Helen so she could "follow his movements with [her] hand."

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