Helen Keller

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Insights and summary of Helen Keller's "Three Days to See"


In "Three Days to See," Helen Keller imagines how she would use her sight if given only three days. She plans to observe her loved ones and nature, visit museums, and witness the bustling life of cities. Keller emphasizes appreciating the beauty and details of the world, urging readers to make the most of their senses and not take them for granted.

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What did you learn from Helen Keller's "Three Days to See"?

What one learns from "Three Days to See" is how much of a zest for life Helen Keller had despite her challenging disabilities.

If given three days of sight, she tells us that she would make the most of her senses, seeing the people she loves, visiting museums and art galleries, and generally seeing and hearing as much as possible.

The zest for life that Helen's fantasy reveals is contagious and encourages the reader to make the most of the extraordinary gifts that they have and treat the senses to new sights, sounds, and experiences.

On the third day of sight, Helen tells us that she'd spend all day just walking around, looking at people and buildings. This isn't something that most of us tend to do, as we take our sight for granted. Caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we seldom stop and look at the world around us.

After reading "Three Days to See," however, many readers have begun to look at their environment with fresh eyes, noticing things that previously evaded their attention and in the process, gaining a newfound zest for life.

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What is the summary of Helen Keller's essay "Three Days to See"?

In "Three Days to See" Helen Keller begins by discussing the type of story in which the hero has only a short time—sometimes as little as a day—left to live. She points out how differently one would use one's time under such circumstances. Just as only those who are under sentence of death truly appreciate life, so those who, like Keller, lack particular senses such as sight or hearing are best placed to realize what wonderful gifts these faculties are.

The author imagines that she has been granted the use of her eyes for three days and also invites the reader to imagine that s/he has only three more days before going blind. What would one want to see? Keller says that on the first day, she would hope to see the people she loves, including Ann Sullivan Macy, her teacher. She asks the reader whether s/he can closely and accurately describe the faces of friends and family, saying that most people cannot. Keller would end her first day of sight with a walk in the woods, minutely observing the natural world.

On her second day of sight, the author says she would visit the great museums of New York City, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in particular, to see the great masterpieces of painting. The third day she would spend walking the streets of the city, observing the buildings and the people. She concludes by encouraging the reader to make the most of his or her senses, particularly the sense of sight, and sometimes to try to see the world as if s/he might be struck blind the next day.

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What is the summary of Helen Keller's essay "Three Days to See"?

The name Helen Keller is known by most and for good reason. Her striving against all odds led to her becoming a highly successful,well-respected, motivational speaker - although Anne Sullivan her tutor translated for her and a writer. She changed the perception of people towards blind and deaf people and the disabled in general, as she was such a

powerful, educated, assertive figure

Many people have contemplated what they might do if, say the end of the world was nigh, or death was imminent. ideas are often fanciful and even ridiculous, frivolous, life-threatening and unfortunately mostly meaningless and empty.  Those who have been saved from almost certain death usually gain a new perspective and an appreciation for the simplicity of life.

Helen Keller was well aware how her "seeing" friends took their sight for granted and noted how "the seeing see little" and, without wishing misfortune on anyone, she did reflect that

Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.

It is interesting that,whilst discussing the restoration of her sight in Three Days to See, Helen Keller does not wish to have her sight restored permanently but just long enough to allow her to marvel in the things others take for granted.

Helen's first wish on the first day  would be to see those people who have contributed so enormously to her life. Despite her hardship she is ever grateful for those who made everything possible. Anne Sullivan showed such "compassion for all humanity" and Helen wants to "see" it in her eyes.

To see through that "window of the soul", Helen feels would give her "that deeper understanding" of her friends that she feels has been denied to her. Her friends' husbands often do not know "the color of their wives' eyes," and "few see everything" as each person's perception is clouded as he or she fails to appreciate the surroundings.

On the first day Helen wants to appreciate the face of a baby whose innocence

precedes the individual's consciousness of the conflicts which life develops

All Helen's desires for the first day are simple pleasures; being able to see her dogs, see all the things that make "a house into home." "Intoxicate,"" absorb,"" vast,"" splendour,"" serene" and "colorful" are all words she uses to describe her would-be first "seeing" day. The wonder of "artificial" light is no less appreciated.  

Sleep would elude Helen on that first day.

Museums would fill Helen's second day. as she takes a "hasty glimpse" into "the kaleidoscope of the ages." Art and the history of Art -  "I can only guess at the beauty which remains hidden from me" - are crucial to her new and fleeting experience. Helen is saddened that the world of Art, which she finds so fascinating "is a dark night, unexplored and unilluminated" to sighted people.

Helen regrets that her wish allows her only three days as she cannot possibly appreciate everything within such a short space of time. She only wishes that others appreciated drama and art and all things that need sight to truly understand them.

Helen would not sleep on the second night as visions would interfere.

On the third day, Helen would visit New York City to enable her to become part of everyday life. Surely then, having looked upon her friends, understood history and experienced everyday life, despite all that she has left to see she will have no regrets.

All that remains is for those who have the "gift" of sight to put it to good use.   

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