Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

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Answers to this question will vary from person-to-person, just as it would with any work, as each individual takes something different to the reading experience. The Miracle Worker is a story of perserverence. In it, Helen Keller overcomes great odds. Through this play, we learn how she paved the way for people who who are blind and deaf to be able to communicate. Personally, as a teacher, I was affected by Anne Sullivan, Helen's teacher. Anne helped me to realize what it means to have patience and perserverance. When she first came to live with the Kellers, no one thought she could be successful. In fact, Captain Keller, the father, has made it clear that he has no hope that anyone will be able to teach Helen how to communicate, "I've stopped believing in wonders," he says (Act I, scene 2). Even worse, her brother wants her to be put into "some asylum" (Act I, scene 2) rather than see her try to get any help.

When Anne Sullivan comes to the house to try to teach Helen, she faces an uphill battle. Against all odds, she is able to slowly begin to teach Helen, and in teaching her how to communicate, she teaches her how to use language and ultimately how to read and write. This is an inspirational story to anyone, but truly to someone who teaches and knows what it is like to face incredible odds. Knowing that Anne Sullivan could teach a young girl who was deaf and blind not only to read and write, but also to become an inspirational author and speaker, makes me feel like I can overcome the much smaller obstacles that I face every day in my profession.

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