What amusing picture did Helen paint of her father during her naming ceremony?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Since Helen was the first child of her parent's marriage, she notes that there was a good deal of discussion about what to call her, as everyone agreed that a first child was not to be "lightly named." Her father wanted her to be named Mildred Campbell, after an ancestor...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Since Helen was the first child of her parent's marriage, she notes that there was a good deal of discussion about what to call her, as everyone agreed that a first child was not to be "lightly named." Her father wanted her to be named Mildred Campbell, after an ancestor of his. Having stated his preference, he then withdrew from the debate.

Helen's mother, however, wished for Helen to be named after her own mother, whose maiden name had been Helen Everett. After Helen's father carried Helen to the church for the naming, he couldn't entirely remember what his wife had told him to say, so when the minister asked him what the baby's name was, he said Helen Adams. Therefore, the intended Helen Everett Keller became Helen Adams Keller.

Helen's father comes across as somewhat of a nervous father, forgetful, and perhaps a bit careless. As Keller puts it:

But in the excitement of carrying me to church my father lost the name on the way, very naturally, since it was one in which he had declined to have a part. When the minister asked him for it, he just remembered that it had been decided to call me after my grandmother, and he gave her name as Helen Adams.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team