As Anne Sullivan attempts to compose a letter, Helen beleaguers her with annoyances, spilling her ink, disturbing her paper, instead of working on the sewing card Anne has given her. Mrs. Keller stops in the doorway of the room, inquiring about the movements Anne makes in Helen's hand, and Anne explains that she is spelling to Helen. Kate Keller tells Anne the she would like to learn this code. Then, Helen acts up again: when Anne reached for Helen's sewing card, Helen impaled Anne's hand with the sewing needle. To make matters worse, Mrs. Keller gives Helen a sweet in order to distract the child. Anne asks why Helen is given a sweet when she has misbehaved, and Mrs. Keller expains that it is given for distraction. Resuming her writing after Mrs. Keller has departed, Anne sighs and writes further in her letter she has been desperately trying to compose. She continues,
The, more, I, think, the, more, certain, I, am, that, obedience, is, the, gateway, through, which, knowledge, enters, the, mind, of, the, child—
Later Anne asks everyone to leave her alone with Helen while she tries to get her to behave at the table. After having to lift her and put her back in her chair, Anne finally succeeds in getting Helen to eat with a spoon and fold her napkin. Nevertheless, Anne is discouraged and angry because Mrs. Keller gives Helen a sweet when she has been so disruptive and combative. Added to Helen's behavior is the fact that the Kellers do not seem to concur with Anne that Helen should be made to behave and have manners at the table.
In the end of the second act, Annie is angry and dis encouraged with Helen . Helen is a brat and her mother always babies her, by giving her sweets and letting her do what she wants. After dinner, Annie made everyone leave the dining room and locked her and Helen. After much struggle, she managed to get Helen to eat with a napkin. However, Helen becomes disruptive again and her mother still gives her sweets to make her stop. The Kellers don't seem to be cooperative in Annie's belief that Helen has to be taught manners and made to behave.