How did Helen realize she was different from other people?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In her autobiography, Helen Keller wrote that she did not remember when she came to the realization that she "was different from other people."  She did realize this fact before Anne Sullivan, her teacher, came to stay when Helen was almost seven-years-old.

Helen used hand signs to communicate with her family and others in the household.  Even though she was blind and deaf, she was an incredibly intelligent and observant little girl.  At some point, young Helen "noticed that [her] mother and [her] friends did not use signs as [she] did when they wanted anything done, but talked with their mouths."  As a little girl, Helen was fascinated with people communicating with their months.  At times, she "stood between two persons who were conversing and touched their lips."  Despite her fascination, Helen found it frustrating that she was not able to understand exactly what was happening.  She tried moving her own lips to communicate, but nothing happened.  It made her extremely angry that she could not participate in this form of communication.

Read the study guide:
The Story of My Life

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