How did Sullivan help in transforming the life of Helen Keller? What might a pen picture of Helen's father look like?

Expert Answers
lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Sullivan was twenty years old when she was sent from the Perkins School for the Blind to help teach Helen Keller, who was six years old. Helen had contracted an illness before she was two that left her unable to speak or hear. Her family did not know how to cope with Helen's blindness and deafness, and let her do whatever she wanted. They did not know whether she was intelligent, as she had no way of communicating. Anne Sullivan had vision problems herself, and knew other methods to teach those who could not see or hear. Anne was strict with Helen; for example, Helen would wander around the table at mealtimes, taking food from whatever plates she wanted. Anne forced Helen to sit and use utensils to eat. Anne repeatedly finger-spelled words into Helen's hand in order to show her names for items. In this way, Helen learned to communicate. She graduated from college and became an author. Without Anne's help, Helen may have remained unable to communicate and locked inside her own head.

If you are drawing a picture of Helen's father from this time, you would draw an older father, fifty years old when Anne Sullivan arrived to teach Helen. Arthur Keller had been a captain in the Confederate Army, so you would want to draw a figure that stands straight, with a military posture. He liked to hunt; you could add a rifle. Photographs show him with a beard and mustache, and a receding hairline.

Read the study guide:
The Story of My Life

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question