The Story of My Life: Helen Keller

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The book, The Story of My Life is an interesting recollection of the life of Helen Keller. Her remarkable intelligence and ability to write is one that I truly admire. Helen Keller was born a healthy child. When Helen was 19 months old, she became sick with what was known as acute congestion of the brain and stomach; this is now known as scarlet fever. As a result of the fever, she was left blind and deaf. For the first five years of her life, Helen was unable to communicate with anyone. She often failed to communicate with her family and in turn had uncontrollable tantrums which portrayed her as an unruly, out of control child. Her potential was not seen at this point in her life. When Helen was 6 she was awakened to a world of words and concepts through the teaching methods of her tutor, Anne Sullivan. In chapter 4, she describes the moments when she first connected a word with the physical object it represents. When Ann and Helen were outside, they came across a water pump. Just as she spelled everything else, Ann spelled "water" into Helen's hand, and something clicked. Helen suddenly understood that the spellings were names of things. That was the moment that the world began to make sense to her. She continues on to describe how she gradually built up a vocabulary and an understanding of not only a physical world, but also a world of intangible concepts, ideas, images and emotions. By realizing that words could be put together to show mental images, Keller suddenly began to grasp concepts and ideas of things that she could not physically smell or touch. She began to understand and explore how words could be used to represent emotions and how experiences could be described through simile and metaphor. This understanding of poetry is demonstrated in her writing style for this book. It is written very formally and includes a lot of metaphors and

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