How does one summarize chapters 12-24 of Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life? 

How does one summarize chapters 12-24 of Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life?


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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To summarize a chapter, we first carefully read the chapter while making notes of important details. To pick out important details, think about how the information Helen is telling us relates to the larger purpose of her story, which is to explain how she found her way out of her imprisoned world of silence and darkness. As you write your notes about the details in complete sentences, be careful to paraphrase as you summarize. Since you need to summarize multiple chapters, you'll want to pick and choose just two or three details from each chapter to focus on. The following is an example summary of Chapter XII.

Chapter XII begins soon after Helen's first trip to Boston, at the age of 8, to visit and attend school at the Perkins Institution for the Blind with Miss Sullivan and her mother, just one year after Miss Sullivan first came to her. At the close of the school year, Helen and Miss Sullivan holidayed in Cap Cod then returned to Alabama to pass the autumn months with the Kellers in their summer cottage. Helen and Miss Sullivan then return to Boston for the winter.

In Chapter XII, Helen details her first experiences with New England winters and snow. Upon her first arrival in New England during the winter, she was astonished to discover that the trees and bushes were bare of their leaves, which doesn't happen in Alabama. She particularly spends a great deal of time in the chapter detailing her observations and experiences during and after her first snow storm. For example, she describes tobogganing, sitting around the fire with the people she was with and telling "merry tales," and about how the northerly wind grew fierce at night, making her feel both thrilled and terrified.

Her description of her experiences during her first Northern winter shows us just how much she has grown as a person since the arrival of Miss Sullivan. Every new experience she has in the world helps her out of her prison of darkness by helping her interact with and learn about the world around her.

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The Story of My Life

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