Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson
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What's the climax of The Miracle Worker?

The climax of The Miracle Worker occurs when Annie Sullivan spells the word water in Helen's hand as they are pumping water and the young girl understands the connection between the word and the object.

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Anne Sullivan doesn't feel she had enough time alone with Helen when the family calls them back for a dinner to celebrate Helen's progress in learning manners. While Annie gets increasingly frustrated at dinner as the family gives in to Helen's boundary-testing, Helen spills water from a pitcher. Annie takes...

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Anne Sullivan doesn't feel she had enough time alone with Helen when the family calls them back for a dinner to celebrate Helen's progress in learning manners. While Annie gets increasingly frustrated at dinner as the family gives in to Helen's boundary-testing, Helen spills water from a pitcher. Annie takes her out to get more.

As the water from the pump is running over Helen's hands, Anne signs the word water in her palm. For the first time, Helen understands the connection between the word being spelled on her hand and the physical object it describes. She understands that Annie is spelling "water" and, more importantly, that a whole new world of communication has been opened to her. She drops the pitcher, which shatters, and says "wah wah."

As the two cry and bond for life, the climax of the play has been reached. Helen learns more words and runs to her parents, who are ecstatic when she can communicate with them. Annie has won, achieving her goal of opening the world up to Helen, and Helen's life from that moment forward will never be the same again.

After this climatic and dramatic highpoint, what is left of the play brings the events to a satisfactory conclusion.

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