In The Story of My Life, why does the writer, Helen Keller, say that the happy days of her life did not last for long?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Story of My Life is Helen Keller's autobiographical account of the first years of her life. Her life begins, she has been told, like any other new born as "I came, I saw, I conquered." It is apparent to her family that Helen is a bright child and even at the age of six months she can say  "How d'ye,"  and repeat the word "tea." Helen also recalls the word "wah-wah" for water that will become so significant and later represent a turning point for her in what will otherwise become her "dayless life."

Helen also relates the story of her learning to walk and that she walks for the first time on the day of her first birthday. "The flickering shadows of leaves that danced in the sunlight " catch her attention, her being such an inquisitive child and she simply chases them before realizing that this whole walking phenomenon is new to her and she falls down and cries to be picked up.

These seemingly "happy" childhood events however "did not last long." The Spring, Summer and Autumn all leave "their gifts at the feet of an eager, delighted child" but then, during a "dreary" February, Helen is struck down by an illness so severe that it leaves her deaf and blind and "plunged me into (the) unconsciousness."    

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The Story of My Life

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