What are chapter abstracts of Chapters 1-5 of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 1:  Helen introduces her parents and writes of the early years of her life.  She explains the circumstances of the illness that left her deaf and blind.  A few months before her second birthday, Helen had become seriously ill.  Though she recovered in some ways, she never gained back her hearing or sight.

Chapter 2:  Helen writes of the years following her illness.  She explains how she adjusted to life.  She introduces Martha Washington, her close friend.  She also writes more about her parents.

Chapter 3:  Helen tells of how she desired to communicate more effectively as she grew older.  Her parents seek help, and take her to a doctor in Baltimore.  He recommends that they see Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.  Helen grows to love Dr. Bell when they meet.  He advises Helen's parents to contact Mr. Anagnos at the Perkins Institution.

Chapter 4:  Mr. Anagnos had recommended Miss Annie Sullivan to be Helen's teacher.  Miss Sullivan arrives, and Helen's life changes.  The teacher makes many attempts to teach Helen by spelling words into her hands.  One day, Helen finally makes the connection between words and objects.  Her life is transformed.  The first word Helen recognizes is "water."  She explains what learning this word did in her life:

That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!  There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away. 

Chapter 5:  Helen eagerly learns whenever she can.  Miss Sullivan takes her out in nature.  She teaches her young pupil about the wonders of nature.  Helen gets stuck alone in a thunderstorm, and she is afraid.  She clings to a tree branch until Miss Sullivan comes.

Read the study guide:
The Story of My Life

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