In The Story of My Life, what was the incident regarding "The Frost King?" What was the controversy?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller traces Helen's early life (up to the age of 22) as she and her family come to terms with her life as a blind and deaf child. Fortunately for Helen, the day Annie Sullivan arrives is to Helen, "the most important day I remember in all my life" (chapter 4). Annie helps Helen learn from every opportunity, even "from life itself" (chapter 7).

Chapter 14 explains the incident surrounding a story that Helen writes and calls The Frost King. Helen is delighted that she has written this story and she sends it to Mr Anagnos for his birthday. His pleasure and Helen's is short-lived because after Mr Anagnos publishes the story in a report, Helen is accused of stealing Margaret Canby's idea expressed in The Frost Fairies. Helen has no recollection of ever having heard any such story and Miss Sullivan also maintains that she never read the story previously. 

Helen describes this "affair" as "the one cloud in my childhood's bright sky." She decides to reference the incident in her autobiography because she wants others to understand how even such a painful occurrence builds character. She has not tried to blame anyone or justify herself. However, even though at first she is cleared of any wrongdoing and Miss Canby herself reassures Helen, the matter becomes very controversial because a teacher at The Perkins' Institute misunderstands Helen and Helen's innocence comes into question. Mr Anagnos never believe Helen after that. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial