How might Jimmie and Helen be linked in Annie's mind in the play The Miracle Worker?Act II, Scene 5

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jimmie was Annie's little brother. In the absence of their parents, the two children grew up in an institution. Jimmie was afflicted with a tubercular hip, and died at a young age. In the impersonal conditions of the institution, Jimmie and Annie were very close. Jimmie depended on Annie, who, as the older sister, had promised to take care of him. Annie was only a child, however, and nearly blind herself. She was powerless to protect him from pain and ultimately death, and is tormented by guilt by her inadequacy well into her adult life.

When Annie begins to work with Helen, she is determined to save her from her silent, isolated world, and the possibility of institutionalization. When Helen's parents, unable to control her, bring up the possibility of "putting her in an asylum," Annie protests vehemently, telling them of the horrors she and her brother experienced growing up in such a situation. Annie resolves to do whatever it takes to save Helen from such a fate, and in her mind, she is most likely all the more galvanized into action because of the guilt she still feels for not being able to help her brother. Annie is determined to succeed with Helen where she failed, though not through her own fault, with Jimmie; the memory of her brother and the guilt she still feels makes it all the more important to her not to fail in the same way with Helen.

Read the study guide:
The Miracle Worker

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question