HELEN KELLER IN WORDS AND SOUND - PART 2 (Illustration) American History Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Biographies Famous People

One of the people who encouraged Helen Keller to study at the university level was Alexander Graham Bell. We see him, with Keller and Annie Sullivan, in this photo which was taken during July of 1894. The Library of Congress, which maintains this photo, tells us more: "Alexander Graham Bell with Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan at the meeting of the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, July 1894, in Chautauqua, N.Y." Click on the image for a better view.


We continue here with the remaining summary, and audio chapters, of Helen's book, The Story of My Life.

Chapter 12 - As a child of the South, Helen had not experienced snow before the winter of 1889.  While in the North, she played outside in the cold weather.  Her favorite winter sport was tobagonning - which she was able to do with help.

Chapter 13 - Even though she'd made great progress, Helen was frustrated because she could not speak.  She'd read about a deaf-blind Norwegian girl, named Ragnhild Kaata, who had learned to do what Helen longed for.  At the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Sarah Fuller worked with her.  Helen's first spoken sentence was:  "It is warm."

Chapter 14 - When she was 11, Helen wrote a story she thought was her own, and "The Frost King" was published by the director of the Perkins Institute.  She had not recalled someone had once read "The Frost Fairies" (by Margaret T. Canby) to her.  Eight people interrogated Helen, about her plagiarized story.  It was not an easy time for the child.

Chapter 15 - After the controversy about "The Frost King," Helen returned to her family in Tuscumbia.  Afraid to write, lest she once again tell a story not her own, Anne Sullivan encouraged her pupil to write about her personal life for a magazine called Youth's Companion.

Chapter 16 - Until Helen was 13, Annie Sullivan worked with her student on the basics:  How to finger-spell, how to read (in Braille and raised type) and how to speak (as best she could).  Then it was time for formal lessons, to prepare for college.  Latin and math were added to the subjects Helen needed to master. (This image depicts the English alphabet in Braille.)

Chapter 17 - For two years, as Helen continued her college-prep work, she studied at the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York.  Miss Sullivan attended as her interpretor.  Helen was frustrated with the way she spoke and reports that her teachers shared her concerns. (This image depicts "Helen Keller," written in Braille.)

Chapter 18 - Still preparing for college, Helen attended the Cambridge School for Young Ladies.  It was the first time she was at a school with seeing and hearing girls.  Annie continued to interpret for Helen, but she needed periodic breaks.  And while Helen's patrons in London and Philadelphia ordered raised-type books for her, they did not arrive in time.

Chapter 19 - Helen Keller never enjoyed math, and she found learning algebra and geometry particularly difficult.  She was unable to see geometrical figures on a blackboard.  She learned about them by using "a cushion with strings and curved wires."  Annie Sullivan bore the worst of Helen's angry frustrations.

Chapter 20 - In the fall of 1900, Helen Keller became the first blind-deaf college student.  She'd romantically thought it would be a time to reflect, and think, about her subjects.  But her college life was vastly different from that of her fellow students.  She had to use her hands "to listen," not take notes.  And jealousy, at times, made her struggle even more.

Chapter 21 - Helen loved to read.  She especially enjoyed poetry and makes this observation about it:  "Great poetry needs no other interpreter than a responsive heart. Would that the host of those who make the great works of the poets odorous by their analysis, impositions and laborious comments might learn this simple truth!"

Chapter 22 - When she wasn't reading, Helen loved to be outside.  She especially enjoyed swimming, but her favorite sport was sailing.  She felt a special kinship with trees and imagined that she could see the sunshine on their leaves.

Chapter 23 - In the last chapter of her book, Helen thanks many people who have helped her along the way.  Her words of criticism are directed at those whom she calls "the stupid and curious."  She also reserves choice words for people who treated her in a condescending manner.

During the rest of Helen Keller's long life, she wrote many more books and articles.  An inspiration to all who knew her, and all who have since learned about her courageous struggle, she is considered a giant of the 20th century.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Nov 10, 2015

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"HELEN KELLER IN WORDS AND SOUND - PART 2" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2009. Sep 23, 2019.
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