Illustration of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

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Why was it necessary for Helen to be completely dependent on Annie during her learning?

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Although Helen was deaf and dumb, she was extremely intelligent. She had learned how to manipulate her parents and they could not handle her, so they indulged her. Annie knew this. Annie felt that Helen would have to totally depend on her for everything -- food, water, attention -- if she was going to be able to make any headway with the strong-willed and out-of-control young girl.

Helen's father did not want to agree to let Annie have full control of Helen. He wanted to fire Annie. Mrs. Keller finally convinced him to go along with it. She loved her daughter and in the play, she seemed to sense that there was something unique about Annie and that this young woman would finally be able to help Helen when she and her husband could not.

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