The Story of My Life Questions and Answers
by Helen Keller

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What is a brief summary of Chapter 21 of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller?

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chapter 21 of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller talks about her love or reading. She enjoys reading entire books from a wide range of periods and places, and tries to share this love of reading with others.

Her reaction to the Bible is interesting in that her attitude towards it changes over time, from finding it boring when she was young to problematic as she grows older, but she gradually began to appreciate it. She disliked animal fables but was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology. 

For traditional children's books, one of the earliest books for which she developed a great deal of affection was Little Lord Fauntleroy. She also greatly admired the Romantic poets, Shakespeare, and many classic works of nineteenth century American fiction and poetry. 

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Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this chapter, Helen Keller discusses how she began to read. She first started reading stories in Braille again and again, as she became interested in the words and improving her vocabulary. At times, her teacher, Anne Sullivan, also signed stories into her hand. When Keller visited the Perkins Institute in Boston, she began to read more assiduously. She loved the book Little Lord Fauntleroy so much that she became an even more avid reader.

She mentions all the difficult types of books she has read, including works from ancient Greece such as the Iliad and Aeneid. She particularly enjoyed reading the Bible and says, "For years I have read it with an ever-broadening sense of joy and inspiration; and I love it as I love no other book." In addition, in college, she read works in German and French, and she has read Shakespeare, poetry, and works of history. At the end of this chapter, she says, "In a word, literature is my Utopia." Literature opened worlds to her that were not accessible in other ways. 

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