Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson
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In The Miracle Worker, is the Keller family normal or dysfunctional? Why?

Expert Answers

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I used to feel a lot of contempt for the Kellers.  I thought they were weak and that anyone with any sense could see exactly what Helen needed.

Then I had an autistic child.

Now I understand that it sometimes takes someone emotionally removed (but still loving) to get past the fear of what a child's future may hold and to find the best in them.

My thinking, therefore, is to not be too hard on the Kellers.  In their favor is the fact that they allowed Annie Sullivan to pursue her sometimes harsh course of treatment despite their own emotional pain. 

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