The main idea of the first part of Helen Keller's The Story of My Life (Chapters 1-13) is the way in which Keller, who was stricken with an illness that made her blind and deaf as a young child, is able to overcome her so-called disabilities to have a full education and a full life. At the end of these chapters, Keller writes of her friends, "In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges, and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation." In other words, she feels that her friends--people like Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, who directed Keller's father to the Perkins Institute in Boston, and like Keller's teacher Miss Sullivan--helped Keller in her journey from childhood misfortune to later triumph. The moral of the book is also the way in which people who have limitations imposed on them as Keller did can, though education, will, and patience, work to overcome these limitations. Keller became a well-educated, worldly person with many friends through hard work and the help of her family, teachers, and friends.