Why does Helen hide the key?
It's not long after Annie Sullivan's arrival at the Kellers' place, and Helen is still deeply suspicious of her new teacher. It seems extraordinary given the close bond they will come to develop later, but for now the relationship between Annie and Helen is difficult, to say the least.
The main problem seems to be that Helen finds it impossible to deal with Annie's hands-on teaching methods. Annie physically interacts with Helen as part of her strenuous efforts to teach her sign language. She also doesn't hesitate to chastise Helen physically if she misbehaves. Whatever the rights and wrongs of such an approach, there's no doubt that it doesn't meet with Helen's approval.
One day, Helen shows how much she resents Annie's presence by locking her in her room and hiding the key. For good measure, she even slaps Annie. Helen hides the key in her mouth before dropping it down a well so that no one will ever find it.
It's an embarrassing situation for Annie, and she has to be rescued by a ladder placed outside her room. Fortunately, the only way is up for Helen and Annie's relationship, and Annie will eventually perform miracles, transforming Helen's life beyond anything that anyone could've imagined.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial