What was life like for Helen Keller in the village that she visited during the winter as told in The Story of My Life?

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In a very short chapter, Keller describes life in winter in an unspecified New England village. Keller loved nature, and she loved being in this village with its cold and snow. Being from the South, she had never experienced the true cold of a New England winter, so she reveled...

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In a very short chapter, Keller describes life in winter in an unspecified New England village. Keller loved nature, and she loved being in this village with its cold and snow. Being from the South, she had never experienced the true cold of a New England winter, so she reveled in the chance to be there and enjoy the "treasures of the snow."

It is remarkable how much Keller was able to experience despite her disability. She could feel the bare branches of the trees, with only a shriveled leaf here and there. She could feel the flakes of a snowstorm. One day, out in the snow, the light was so bright and "dazzling" that it penetrated even Keller's blindness. She could feel too the air stinging her face like "fire."

She loved tobogganing:

What joy! What exhilarating madness! For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth . . .

Some of the look of the landscape was clearly communicated to her by Miss Sullivan, but readily incorporated into Keller's imagination. All in all, she remembers it as a magical, almost fairytale time.

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Helen Keller explains in The Story of My Life, how she learns from many experiences and events. Some experiences thrill her and others instill fear into her but she learns from them all. Following "my soul's sudden awakening" (ch 5) Helen continues to reveal her independent nature and "the more joyous and confident grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the world." Helen even acknowledges the benefit of "nameless terror" and learns "a new lesson."

She relishes her winters spent in "the North" and the unfamiliarity of the landscape after the snow - even though "All life seemed to have ebbed away"(ch 12). The New England village exposes Helen to a different kind of "desolate solitude, shut in from all communication with the outside world." It does not scare her or make her feel alone but invigorates her and "thrilled us with a vague terror."

There is a feeling of freedom for Helen as she spends her time tobogganing with Miss Sullivan to the point that "we felt ourselves divine!"

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