What does Annie ask of Captain Keller when he compliments her on what she has done with Helen in The Miracle Worker?What greeting does James extend to Annie?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Captain Keller compliments Annie on what she has done with Helen, she asks one thing of him - to not undo what she has accomplished.

When Captain Keller and his wife return after giving Annie the time she requested to work with Helen alone, they are astonished to find that their daughter has learned how to keep herself clean, to participate quietly in meaningful activities, and to spell with her hands.  Captain Keller expresses his gratitude to Annie, telling her she has "taken a wild thing, and given (them) back a child".  Annie laments that although she has taught Helen to obey, she has been unable to teach her to understand, but Captain Keller tells her that for he and his wife, that is enough.  Annie then asks for the Captain's help.  She entreats him not to undo progress Helen has made by "letting her have her way in everything" again.  Annie wants the Captain and his wife to hold Helen accountable for her actions, and not to encourage unacceptable behavior by giving in to her when she throws tantrums.

When James greets Annie, he pats her hair and says, "Evening, general".  He is complimenting her on her tenacity, comparing her to General Stonewall Jackson in an allusion to a discussion he had earlier in Act 2 with his father concerning the intrepid victor of the Battle of Vicksburg (Act 3).

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The Miracle Worker

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