In The Miracle Worker, why does Keller agree to write Dr. Chisolm?

Keller agrees to write to Dr. Chisholm because he's widely regarded as being able to work wonders when it comes to curing people of their blindness. Although Captain Keller is deeply skeptical, he agrees to write to Dr. Chisholm when Aunt Ev threatens to take Helen to see the doctor in person.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Captain Keller has pretty much given up hope of his daughter Helen's blindness ever being cured. As he tells the family, Helen's been to specialists all over Alabama and Tennessee, but all to no avail. One can well imagine, then, why he's skeptical that another doctor may be able to help out.

Even so, Kate and Aunt Ev try to persuade Keller to write to Dr. Chisholm, a renowned eye specialist in Baltimore. Apparently, the man can work wonders and has cured quite a few people of their blindness. But as Keller's stopped believing in wonders, he stubbornly refuses to right to him.

Nevertheless, Aunt Ev is persistent, and continues to badger the Captain about writing to Dr. Chisholm. She even threatens to take Helen to Baltimore to see the doctor in person; and if he can't help Helen, then maybe he'll know someone who can.

Eventually, Captain Keller, who wants a peaceful home life, as well as what's best for his daughter, gives in and agrees to write Dr. Chisholm. In due course, this will turn out to be one of the best decisions he's ever made. Writing to Dr. Chisholm will put him in touch with the Perkins Institute, which will send Annie Sullivan, the woman who will transform Helen Keller's life for the better.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial