Essays on Helen Keller

Essays on Helen Keller

Helen Keller was a determined woman who was faced with tremendous difficulties in her life - most notably, loss of hearing and vision. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880, to Kate and Captain Arthur Keller, she was only able to experience sights and sounds for the first nineteen months of her life (Hamilton). At this time, Keller suffered from an unknown sickness that is suspected to have been scarlet fever, explained as “acute congestion of the stomach and brain” (Stuckey). In the end, it was this sickness that caused her to lose her eyesight and ability to hear. Many doctors and professionals at the time doubted that Keller could do anything worthwhile during her lifetime (McGuire). Despite these adversities,

Keller was miraculously able to overcome them through working her hardest and having a desire to learn, both of which are traits that most people aspire to possess. Historians agree that Keller’s quick learning was mostly due to a brilliant and patient teacher who was by Keller’s side until her death (Williams). Of course, Keller’s own strength and grit also played a large role in her success. She received multiple awards and had the opportunity to meet famous authors and presidents throughout the years leading up to her death on June 1, 1968 (Stuckey). Though she has long since passed away, Keller continues to be an inspiration for thousands of people, regardless of what their struggles or goals are. She is an excellent example of someone who persists in the face of hardships and is intent on achieving their goals no matter how daunting they may seem, which are characteristics that Keller is well-known for (Williams).

Keller’s deafness and blindness mainly limited her ability to effectively communicate her thoughts and emotions. Especially as a young child, Keller struggled with letting her parents and siblings know what she felt or wanted. In an effort to help her family better understand her, Keller thought of her own hand signals. The problem with these signals was that they were often unclear and Keller’s parents were unsure of the point their daughter was trying to get across (McGuire).

As a result, Keller became temperamental and depressed due to having nobody to socialize with or understand her. “She remained locked in this lonely state of sensory deprivation until she reached the age of six” (Williams). Keller would eventually look back on this early childhood time, describing herself as an incredibly vocal child who was “wild and unruly, giggling and chuckling to express pleasure; kicking, scratching, uttering the choked screams of the deaf-mute to indicate the opposite”. In short, Keller’s disabilities set back her development and trapped her in her own mind, unable to truly escape into the rest of the world. However, this would all change in the not-so-distant future due to a significant figure in Keller’s life (Hamilton).

In spite of the fact that “the medical profession had given up hope for her” (McGuire), Keller surpassed their low expectations about her by a mile. The most pivotal moment in Keller’s life was the day that she met her life-long best friend and teacher; Anne Sullivan when she was around seven years old. A teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind, Sullivan was recommended to Keller’s parents by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, renowned for his work with the deaf (Hamilton). Sullivan could relate to Keller since she herself had vision problems since a young age, which may explain how she was able to teach Keller so well whilst having minimal experience with teaching the blind (McGuire). Utilizing Keller’s other senses, particularly her sense of touch, was crucial to her fast development. Sullivan began her lessons with Keller by teaching her the manual alphabet, in which “messages were conveyed by moving the fingers to spell words in Helen's hand” (Hamilton).

The most famous instance of this happening was when Sullivan taught Keller the word “water” by spelling it out on her palm as she felt the water from a pump rushing over her fingers and palms (McGuire). Once Keller had mastered the manual alphabet and could recognize the connection between specific objects and words, she was allowed to progress and learn to read and write in Braille, “a system of writing for the blind that uses characters consisting of raised dots” (Merriam-Webster). This is an impressive feat when one considers that Keller had only six months of tutoring with Sullivan under her belt (Hamilton). In the span of just three years, ten-year-old Keller was already typing on a custom-made Braille typewriter and reading stories in Braille. It was at this time that Sullivan was dubbed “the Miracle Worker” due to her accomplishing what was considered nearly impossible to do - teaching a blind and deaf girl how to read and write (Williams).

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We've found 5 essays on Helen Keller
I am Helen Keller Essay

I am a remarkable woman and made a stupendous mark on history today. I may have suffered from my disabilities but my phenomenal spirit helped me work through it. I’m so important to this society due to I pushed the United States government for more …

Helen Keller
Words 442
Pages 2
What Caused Helen Keller to Be Deaf and Blind

At 19 months old, Helen Keller caught and illness which left her both deaf and blind. However, her disabilities didn’t prevent her from learning how to read, write and communicate. She was examined by Alexander Graham Bell at the age of 6 and soon got …

Helen Keller
Words 736
Pages 3
Significant Event Helen Keller

Throughout the course of Helen Keels remarkable life, there were many notable events that brought about significant changes to her life. One event that is particularly notable was her contraction of the Brain Fever in 1 882, as it completely changed the way she would …

DisabilityDiseaseHelen Keller
Words 335
Pages 2
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Helen Keller: Overview

The Minds Eye As humans we become thankful for what we have after having to go without. We do not become thankful for the light until we have had to walk through the dark tunnel. In “Three Days to See” by Helen Keller the author …

DisabilityHelen KellerImagination
Words 789
Pages 4
The Story of Her Life

A deaf and blind girl born in 1880 said, “Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therein to be content.” (more…)

DiseaseHelen Keller
Words 30
Pages 1

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