In The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, it is said that Helen's teacher was everything for her. What does this mean?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller is an autobiography of Helen Keller, a woman who lost her ability to see and hear at the age of nineteen months due to a childhood illness. Thus as a child, she struggled to accomplish many basic elements of ordinary life, and had very limited abilities to communicate with people around her or understand her environment. The arrival of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, transformed her world.

Sullivan was hired by the Keller family just before Helen turned seven, and began to teach Helen a manual alphabet. Before this, Helen had very little linguistic knowledge as she could not assimilate language through hearing and sight as is done by most children of her age. Sullivan's teaching thus not only enabled her to communicate, but gave her the ability to associate words with ideas and perceptions, giving her a far more complex and sophisticated conceptual framework through which to understand the world. 

Sullivan also taught Keller how to read and eventually to speak, and helped her prepare to attend university and to live a successful life. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial