Helen's teacher, Annie Sullivan, receives a salary of twenty-five dollars a month (Act I, Scene 3).
Annie has been living at the Perkins Institute in Boston, where she has recovered partial sight after having been rendered blind by trachoma. She has been recommended to the Kellers as a "suitable governess" for Helen, and is preparing to depart for the Kellers' home in Alabama. Annie is a feisty, strong-willed individual, prone to speaking her mind even when exercising tact would be more acceptable. As Mr. Aganos, Annie's counselor at Perkins, briefs her about Helen and the job to which she is going, he cautions her to use more discretion in situations than she has in the past. He tells her,
"Annie, be - humble...it is not as if you have so many offers to pick and choose."
The salary which Annie is being offered is actually quite generous, but Mr. Aganos warns her that her job will be difficult. He says,
"No one expects you to work miracles, even for twenty-five dollars a month."