From The Story of My Life, write a character sketch of Martha Washington in Helen's life. 

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, Helen provides insight into her successes, the lessons learnt and also into her relationships while growing up as a blind and deaf girl. Helen struggles to communicate, and as she gets older her outbursts occur more and more frequently until "the most important day I remember in all my life" (chapter 4). Annie Sullivan's arrival marks the beginning of Helen's journey into language and communication.

However, before Annie arrives, Helen is friends with Martha, the cook's daughter and the two girls get up to mischief together which is probably one of the reasons why Helen relates so well to her and appreciates her capacity for having fun. Helen loves the fact that Martha is a mischief-maker, and despite their cultural differences (relevant to the time period), Martha understands Helen and needs little explanation of what Helen may want even recognizing when Helen wants to go "egg-hunting," for example. Martha plays with Helen, bakes with her in the kitchen, indulges her, understands her signs and allows her to dominate their games. This indicates that Martha is intuitive, even at such a young age, patient (still being friends with Helen despite her temper) and understanding. 


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