The Story of My Life Questions and Answers
by Helen Keller

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In The Story of My Life, how was the summer of 1887 special for Helen? How did Helen learn the joy of nature?

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The summer of 1887 was important because Anne Sullivan came and taught Helen Keller language.

Before Anne Sullivan came, Helen Keller could barely communicate.  She was blind and deaf from a young age, so she never learned to read, write, or properly talk.  She did not have the words for anything.  It was a lonely existence.

The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrasts between the two lives which it connects. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old. (Ch. 4)

Anne Sullivan taught Helen how to spell out words using sign language.  Since Helen could not see, she had to spell words in her hand.  Although Helen couldn’t talk, she was very bright.  By the end of the first day she had learned many words, after Anne taught her “water” by showing her water.  Helen was a very happy little girl.

Even though Helen was blind and deaf, she could enjoy nature.  She enjoyed the smell of flowers, the feel of grass, and the warmth of sunshine.  After Anne came, she could also learn the names for things in nature.  This made it even more enjoyable.  Anne enjoyed learning.

Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass …. She linked my earliest thoughts with nature, and made me feel that "birds and flowers and I were happy peers." (Ch. 5)

Anne loved climbing trees.  One day she was in one when a high wind came.  She was terrified until Anne saved her.  The storm frightened her away from climbing trees for a while, but she loved nature so much she was soon in a tree again.

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