What did Helen mean when she said, "Knowledge is love and light and vision" in The Story of My Life

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Helen Keller, supported by her autobiography, "The Story of My Life" and other works, is a source of inspiration to many people, especially for those whom their daily struggles begin to outweigh their achievements. Due to Annie Sullivan, and her unmatched patience, Helen Keller finds new ways to escape the "valley of two-fold solitude" (chapter 2), as Helen describes it, and go on to become a well-educated, well-respected member of society. This is particularly significant as Helen Keller lived at a time when women were not particularly driven to succeed academically, and disabled persons were often rejected by society as a whole. 

As soon as Annie Sullivan is able to gain Helen's trust, she does not make allowances for Helen's disabilities. She simply finds different ways to provide Helen's education. For example, as Helen says in chapter 6, the only difference for Helen is that sentences are spelled into her hand, and the process of learning takes much longer. Helen is quite poetic in her approach to language, partially because she knows that she cannot create a "tone" otherwise, and because it also allows her to visualize. This makes even the most insignificant event or negligible circumstance, "everything that could hum, or buzz, or sing, or bloom," crucial to her education.

From the age of nineteen months, light and vision are forever denied Helen, but knowledge enables Helen to appreciate far more. It is her knowledge that helps her understand how much her family loves her, and how, despite everything, she does have her own vision of the world and her part in it. Helen's experiences, and thus her ever-growing knowledge bridge the gap so that, as Helen says in chapter 11, "The barren places between my mind and the minds of others blossomed like the rose."

Helen recognizes the "power" of knowledge because it makes her world real, and allows her to distinguish between "true ends from false" (chapter 20). For Helen, "Knowledge is love and light and vision."

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As a young girl, Helen Keller became deaf and blind due to an illness. Her life was plunged into darkness. Her parents were determined to seek help for her. They wanted Helen to get an education and to learn how to communicate. They sought expert after expert to find help. They were eventually told to contact Mr. Anagnos, who ran a school for the blind. It was through him that they found Annie Sullivan, the woman who became Helen's teacher. Miss Sullivan helped lift Helen from the darkness she had lived in for years. Helen looked back on this and described it using a metaphor:

Thus I came up out of Egypt and stood before Sinai, and a power divine touched my spirit and gave it sight, so that I beheld many wonders. And from the sacred mountain I heard a voice which said, "Knowledge is love and light and vision."

Helen compared her emergence from darkness to the Hebrew people escaping from Egypt. She also referred to Moses, who encountered God on Mount Sinai. She metaphorically heard a voice speaking to her. Through knowledge, Helen discovered "love and light and vision."

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