Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

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In The Miracle Worker, what was Annie's strongest motivation for helping Helen?

Expert Answers

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Annie's past provides her with the strongest motivation she has to help Helen. Throughout the play, voices are heard offstage that represent the people and events of the past that still haunt Annie. The strongest voice belongs to her brother, Jimmie. Annie blames herself for his death and can't let go of her guilt until she's able to help Helen at the end of the play. When Helen finally understands the connection between the hand symbol and the actual object, Annie realizes she has accomplished with Helen what she wasn't able to accomplish with her brother. She then promises Helen she will love her "forever and ever".

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