Helen Keller  is /was an effective ambassador fo disabled persons worldwide. Write a character sketch of Helen in the light of the above statement in terms of her autobiography, The Story of My Life.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller is indeed an ambassador for disabled persons but, even more so, she has the capacity to inspire anyone who is struggling to come to terms with life, who are perhaps"so empty of joy" (Ch 23) that they can barely function. Furthermore, Helen wrote The Story of My Life to show her understanding of the great sacrifices of others and the depth of love that surrounds her whilst at the same time she is troubled as "Silence sits immense upon my soul."    

Helen Keller does not suggest that living with her disabilities is easy and her success is from hard work and dedication: "practise, practise, practise." (Ch 13) She is required to spend a lot of time studying but nonetheless she learns "from life itself."(Ch 7) Therefore, Helen is trying to make others see that, despite almost insurmountable odds, anything is possible.

Unfortunately, some people discriminate against disabled persons and do not think that they are capable of great things, thereby restricting them. Helen Keller would never allow that. She even goes tobogganing so that she can experience "one wild, glad moment." She is able to "snap(ped) the chain that binds us to earth," and not allow her disabilities to take over her life, feeling herself"divine." (Ch 12) Her actions, and her fearlessness, inspire others to reach for heights they never thought possible.

One of the incidents that shows Helen's strength of character is when she writes a story and sends it to her dear friend Mr Anagnos. She unwittingly recounts a story - someone else's story - without realizing that, at some point, someone had "told" her that story. She thinks that she has thought of the story herself and sends a transcript of it to Mr Anagnos as a gift. She is devastated when it is discovered that it is nor her own work and recalls that  "No child ever drank deeper of the cup of bitterness than I did." (Ch 14).

For Helen, still a child, to recover from this incident and still go on should inspire disabled persons who may meet disapproval and conflict from others, particularly the able-bodied in their efforts to establish themselves. Even when a seemingly terrible event takes place, recovery is possible and a chance to try again is ever present. Helen Keller could so easily have given up on her dreams at this point but she even insist that, save the loss of a dear friendship, it may "have done me good." (Ch 14). Her message is universal and timeless.

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The Story of My Life

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