Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

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What action does Aunt Ev urge Captain Keller to take in The Miracle Worker?

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Aunt Ev urges Captain Keller to consult with a doctor she has heard of in Baltimore concerning Helen.  After witnessing another in a string of daily incidents in which Helen can neither be communicated with nor controlled, Aunt Ev says, "Something ought to be done for that child".  Captain Keller, who feels he has exhausted all channels of aid already, sarcastically asks her just what she is suggesting, to which Aunt Ev replies that there is "this very famous oculist in Baltimore...Dr. Chisholm".  Aunt Ev has heard of "lots of cases of blindness people thought couldn't be cured (that) he's cured...he just does wonders".  She want Captain Keller to write to Dr. Chisholm.

Although Mrs. Keller seems to want her husband to take Aunt Ev's advice, Captain Keller is not receptive to the suggestion.  He says that "the child's been to specialists all over Alabama and Tennessee, (and) if (he) thought it would do good (he'd have her to every fool doctor in the country".  Captain Keller has pretty much given up hope that anyone can help Helen however, and is tired of going to doctor after doctor in hopes that they can do something, only to find out that they cannot.  He has "stopped believing in wonders", and does not have the least expectation that Dr. Chisholm will be able to do what all the other doctors they have already consulted could not.

Aunt Ev is adamant that Captain Keller should write to Dr. Chisholm; she says that "if that doctor can't help (Helen), maybe he'll know who can".  Aunt Ev has "a mind to take (Helen) up to Baltimore (her)self", and before the force of her urging and that of his wife, Captain Keller finally consents to "write the man".  As it turns out, Aunt Ev's advice is invaluable; Captain Keller's letter establishes a connection with the Perkins Institute, which sends Annie Sullivan to the family to work with Helen (Act I).

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