The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Why is Helen so frustrated by her desire to communicate before Anne Sullivan arrives?
2. Helen learns that the word "w-a-t-e-r" means what comes out of the pump in the well-house. Why is this such a significant discovery?

3. Why is learning to speak with her mouth important to Helen? Why does her joy in speaking make her family respond to her accomplishment in silence?

4. In her descriptions of what she has "seen," Helen often uses words that suggest visual images she is incapable of actually seeing, or sounds she cannot hear. Find some instances of this and explain how, as a blind or deaf person, she could use these words to describe her experience.

5. When Helen writes "The Frost King" she genuinely believes she is making up her own story. Explain why it is not actually her story and how she plagiarizes it. What do you think about how the adults react?

6. What difficulties does Helen encounter when she goes to schools for seeing and hearing students?

7. Does the number of activities in which Helen participates surprise you? Why or why not?