The story of Helen Keller's life, as told in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, is inspiring.Elucidate

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller suffered an almost fatal illness at the age of nineteen months which, although she recovered, left her blind and deaf.

Helen knows she is different, both by the fact that she cannot participate as other children do and that she cannot communicate by moving her lips, despite trying; " I moved my lips and gesticulated frantically without result." She is very inquisitive and her parents' open mindedness allows her to search for answers. One day, she finds her father reading the newspaper, although at the time she has no idea what he is doing; she "imitated this action, even wearing his spectacles, thinking they might help solve the mystery." Ch 2) 

Helen's ability to persevere against all the odds, to make sense of her "dayless" existence and to "learn from life itself" (Ch 7) are inspirational. There is no doubt that she suffers many setbacks and frustrations, even after the arrival of Annie Sullivan who will "set my spirit free" (ch 1) but her ability to herself be inspired by "everything that could hum, or buzz, or sing, or bloom" (ch 7) allows her tyo move on from even the most traumatic events.

One such event is the unfortunate "Frost King" story. Helen unwittingly writes a story which she claims as her own when in fact it is strikingly similar to someone else's. Fortunately, she is still young enough to include this incident as part of character-building and development but she does recall "if this sorrow had come to me when I was older, it would have broken my spirit beyond repairing ." (Ch 14)

The absolute honesty with which Helen Keller recounts her story is also inspiring as she does not pretend that everything is ideal and she shares stories that are painful for her to remember. 

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The Story of My Life

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