How would I write a character sketch of Helen Keller? 

How would I write a character sketch of Helen Keller?


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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller was born with all of her senses, but contracted an illness as a child that left her blind and deaf.  Despite her disabilities, Helen Keller learned to read and write, went to college, and became an advocate for the blind. 

When writing a character sketch, you want to give details about the person that are included in the story. These can include physical and personality traits. You can support these with examples from the text and quotations.

Helen is determined, intelligent, and sensitive. These traits initially made it difficult for her teacher, Anne Sullivan, to teach her language. When she began to learn, though, there was no stopping Helen. She learned quickly and came to love knowledge.

In The Story of My Life, Helen describes how she felt at the end of the first day in which she learned words:

I learned a great many new words that day… It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was as I lay in my crib at the close of the eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed for a new day to come (Chapter 4).

Helen had existed in a state of darkness and ignorance, unable to communicate with anyone. Once she learned her first word, “water,” she was able to learn many more. Anne Sullivan spelled into her hand. Helen came to associate this with the words. 

Even after this, Helen did not have an easy life. The world was still sometimes foreign and difficult for her to navigate. For example, she loved nature, but was frightened when she climbed a tree and a storm hit. Without being able to see or hear, Helen sometimes found the world confusing and scary.

Helen was successful enough that she even went to Radcliff College. College was not easy for Helen Keller, since few of her schoolbooks were in braille and everything took her longer. Still, Helen persevered and became a writer and a successful advocate for the blind.