What are the four main incidents in The Story of My Life?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen Keller detailed the events of her life from her birth to her early twenties in her autobiography, The Story of My Life.  She detailed many important events in her life.  The following are four very important ones:

- Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing when she was almost two years old.  She had what doctors called "acute congestion of the stomach and brain."  They thought that Helen might not live.  She did live, but the sickness caused her to become deaf and blind.

-  Annie Sullivan came to live with the Keller family.  She became Helen's teacher and her constant companion.  Miss Sullivan was a determined woman.  She did not give up on Helen.

-  After many attempts, Annie helped Helen to discover language.  Helen had a breakthrough moment when Miss Sullivan held her hand under a waterspout.  As the water poured over Helen's hand, Miss Sullivan spelled "w-a-t-e-r" into the girl's palm.  Helen made the connection that those letters meant the cool liquid.  After that, she began to learn how to communicate through fingerspelling.  Helen later said that the word "water" "awakened [her] soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!"

-  Miss Sullivan taught Helen how to communicate and learn.  Helen was able to go to school.  She attended school beginning in 1894.  Helen studied mathematics, literature, history, and many other subjects.  She learned to write using a special typewriter.  Helen also made attempts to learn how to speak.  Helen even went to college.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first major incident is Keller's illness when she is over a year old. This illness results in her losing her sight and hearing. For many years afterward, she struggles to communicate and in handling frustration. When she is almost seven years old, the second main incident occurs when Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, comes to work with her. Keller compares her life before her teacher arrives to the course of a ship immersed in fog and likens the arrival of Sullivan to the appearance of light. Keller eventually learns to read and speak under Sullivan's guidance. The third main incident is Keller's arrival in Boston in 1888, when Keller is about eight, to visit the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Keller meets other blind children and travels to the ocean. The final main incident is Keller's admission into Radcliffe College in 1900, after many years of preparation for the entrance examination. 

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The Story of My Life

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