Character Sketch Of Anne Sullivan

What is a character sketch of Anne Sullivan from The Story of My Life by Helen Keller?

Anne Sullivan is partially blind, and she was educated at The Perkins Institute for the Blind before becoming Helen's teacher. In terms of her character, she is very patient and loving with Helen, and she loves to teach Helen about the world, whether that is through academics or the more abstract life lessons that come from being immersed in nature.

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The Story of My Life reveals Anne Sullivan as the inspiration behind Helen Keller's extraordinary life. She is only partially-sighted herself, after undergoing surgery to correct her vision at a young age and herself having been educated at The Perkins Institute for The Blind, a place instrumental in Helen Keller's own development.

Anne Sullivan, Annie, is the person responsible for "the most important day I remember in all my life" (ch 5) as Helen recognizes Anne's contribution throughout her life as teacher, interpreter, friend, companion and motivator. Anne never misses an opportunity to teach Helen, whether it be academically or life skills. She teaches Helen an appreciation in even the smallest detail: "in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand."(ch 5) Anne has the capacity to help Helen connect with nature and "made me feel that 'birds and flowers and I were happy peers.'" (ch 5)

One of Anne Sullivan's most instrumental effects is felt when she makes Helen "Think." It is this that helps Helen make the connection between the abstract and the physical as "you feel the sweetness that it (love) pours into everything."(ch 6) Anne makes "every subject so real that I could not help remembering."(ch 7) So profound is the impact that Anne Sullivan has on Helen that "her being is inseparable from my own, and (that) the footsteps of my life are in hers." (ch 7)

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 15, 2020
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