What is an example of a negative incident with nature Helen experienced in The Story of My Life?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen is afraid of nature after she climbs a tree and then a thunderstorm hits.

Helen always enjoyed and appreciated nature.  She says that Anne taught her that “birds and flowers and I were happy peers" (ch 5).  Even before Anne came, she enjoyed going into the garden to feel the sunlight on her face and smell the flowers.

One day, Helen climbs into a tree while Anne goes inside to get lunch.  The air turns suddenly from warm and peaceful to dark and thunderous.  Helen gets very frightened, and wants nothing more than to get out the tree.  Since she can’t see or hear, she is trapped as the tree thrashes her face while she tries to hang on.

Anne comes to rescue her, but Helen has a new perspective on nature.

I had learned a new lesson–that nature "wages open war against her children, and under softest touch hides treacherous claws." (ch 5)

Helen is afraid of nature after this for a while.  However, she comes to appreciate beautiful flowers once again.  She slowly becomes less and less frightened of nature and no longer hates it.  It remains important to her throughout the rest of her life.

Read the study guide:
The Story of My Life

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