Do you think we would know about Helen Keller if she was not born into the Keller family?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Helen Keller had more resources available to her because she was from a fairly well-off family. Her family was able to hire Anne Sullivan to teach Helen language. Without Anne Sullivan, Helen likely would not have learned to read and write, or at least not effectively. Her parents did not know how to teach her, so they found professional help. 

The Keller family was financially secure to have a homestead. Her parents lived in a small house on their land when they married. When Helen was five, her family moved into a larger house. They also had servants. 

If a family was poor, it would be hard to pay for a teacher or school. The Kellers lived too far away from the school for the blind, so they had a teacher come to them. 

My parents were deeply grieved and perplexed. We lived a long way from any school for the blind or the deaf, and it seemed unlikely that any one would come to such an out-of-the-way place as Tuscumbia to teach a child who was both deaf and blind. Indeed, my friends and relatives sometimes doubted whether I could be taught (Chapter 3). 

Helen had other opportunities as she got older. She was educated, and even went to college. At the time, attending college was rare for a woman, especially if she was blind and deaf. Helen had to fight to get into and attend Radcliff College.

Because of Helen's opportunities, she became educated and was able to share her message with others. Helen became a writer and advocate for the blind and deaf. She published her autobiography, The Story of My Life, in 1903.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial