In The Miracle Worker, whom does Keller expect to fire (or dismiss) Annie? What does this suggest about Keller’s character? What is Kate’s response to Keller wanting Annie dismissed? Why? What does Keller say to this?
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In The Miracle Worker, Captain Keller, Helen Keller's father, does not expect Annie Sullivan to be able to manage or teach his daughter. In Act I, he says, "...a houseful of grownups can't cope...how can a...half-blind, yankee schoolgirl." Keller finds Annie to be too headstrong and thinks that she should show more respect. He also thinks she should behave more like his version of women as "flowers of civiliza..." He intends to say civilization but Annie's behavior prevents him from doing so.
Keller talks of Helen in Act II as a "deprived" child and is surprised at and doubtful of Annie's methods. He is incredulous that she stands up to him and insists that he talk to Kate alone outside where he suggests that Kate tell Annie that he has "half a mind to ship her back to Boston..." Captain Keller expects Annie to apologize if she is to avoid dismissal as he considers her "incompetent, impertinent, ineffectual, immodest..." He is unimpressed that Helen folds a napkin (something that Kate is quite astounded by) and tells Kate to "give her notice." This reveals that he is a traditional man with traditional values who thinks that the hired held, such as he considers Annie, should be managed by the woman of the house. Kate's refusal is based on her new-found hope, however insignificant, and her determination to never give up on Helen.
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