Black and white illustration of Helen Keller

The Story of My Life

by Helen Keller

Start Free Trial

What is a character sketch of Arthur Keller in The Story of My Life?

Arthur Keller was Helen Keller's father. He was a Confederate Army captain during the Civil War, and after the war, he worked as a newspaper editor. Helen describes her father as being very loving toward his family and very hospitable. He was only absent during the hunting season. At home, he loved gardening and storytelling, and he passed both of these passions on to Helen.

Expert Answers

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

Arthur Keller was a Confederate Army captain during the Civil War, and he works as a newspaper editor. Helen describes him as "loving and indulgent," and she says he is generally at home and is devoted to his family. He only leaves for the hunting season. He excels at hunting, and he is very fond of his dogs and gun. Arthur is very hospitable and enjoys inviting people to his house. Helen says her father is generous almost to a fault.

Arthur takes pride in his garden, where he grows strawberries and watermelons, rumored to be the best in the county. He is kind towards Helen, bringing her grapes and berries and leading her tenderly from one plant to the next. He also enjoys telling stories and spells them into Helen's hands and delights in having her retell them. He died in 1896, when Helen was about 16 and living in the North.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Arthur H. Keller was the father of Helen Keller.  He had served as "a captain in the Confederate Army" during the Civil War.  He married his first wife and had two sons.  He later married his second wife, Kate Adams, who was twenty years his junior.  He was a newspaper editor, and he also managed the Keller Homestead.   He and Kate had their first child, Helen.  She was bright and energetic until contracting the illness called "acute congestion of the stomach and brain," which left her deaf and blind.  He and Kate had two more children, a daughter and a son.

Helen Keller later described her father as a loving man who spent as much time with his family as possible, except when he was hunting.  He was a hospitable man and an accomplished gardener.  It was his appreciation of nature that inspired Helen to love flowers and trees.  He was also an excellent story-teller.  Arthur Keller died in the summer of 1896.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team