Upon her arrival, Annie takes little time before she antagonizes Captain Keller in "The Miracle Worker". What does she do?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Kate arrives back at the house with Annie Sullivan, her husband attempts to act chivalrous and carry Annie's suitcase.  However, Annie argues with him about this, insisting on handling her suitcase herself.  Annie's motives soon become clear.  She drops the suitcase hard on the floor, and the vibration gets Helen's attention.  Helen is able to come over and assess the situation, feeling the suitcase and feeling Annie.  The two then go upstairs together.  Annie is establishing herself with Helen immediately, and taking control of her relationship with Helen.

This idea of control is another part of her antagonism with Captain Keller.  Annie understands that, in order for Helen to learn to conquer her disability, Helen must take control of all her actions.  Annie had to learn to do this herself, and she understands in ways the Keller's do not how dangerous it can be to enable the young girl - to do "for" her and not allow her to do things herself.

The importance of this small insistence on Annie's part becomes clear at the first family meal.  Annie insists that Helen learn to fold her own napkin - the family tries to do it for her.  Helen is happy to let them.  However, Annie is firm, and after a long struggle, she emerges the victor - Helen does fold her own napkin.

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The Miracle Worker

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