The Story of My Life by Helen Keller is an autobiography, which was published when the author was in her early twenties. In it, Helen told her life story from birth until she was in college. Helen began by giving family background about her parents and ancestors. She told about her early life, before she became deaf and blind due to an illness. She detailed the facts about her illness. Helen described her vague memories after she lost her sight and hearing:
I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been different.
Helen briefly wrote about what her life was like as a little girl, before Miss Sullivan came to be her teacher. During this time, Helen struggled with frustration because she longed to be like everyone else. She knew that she was different. Her frustrations were manifested in fits of rage.
Desperate, Helen's parents contacted many experts. Finally, they met with the famous Alexander Graham Bell. He suggested that they contact Mr. Anagnos, who was in charge of the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Through Mr. Anagnos, Mr. and Mrs. Keller were able to connect with Miss Sullivan. The young woman came to Alabama to become Helen's teacher.
Miss Sullivan attempted to reach Helen by communicating with her. Helen could not make the connection between the letters spelled into her palm by Miss Sullivan and the objects they were describing. Finally, one day Miss Sullivan's teachings broke through. Helen finally understood. This changed her life. Helen described this moment as her "soul's sudden awakening."
Helen was a fast learner, and soon she knew how to spell and read using raised letters. She left home with Miss Sullivan to attend school. She even learned how to speak. Throughout the first twenty years of Helen's life, she did a great deal of traveling. Miss Sullivan, her constant companion, traveled with her. Helen made friends wherever she went, whether it was in New York or in Nova Scotia. Friendship was important to Helen. She also loved to learn new things and to spend time in nature.
Helen eventually was accepted into Radcliffe College. She was happy and relieved. Helen ended her autobiography when she was still a student at Radcliffe.