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"The Miracle Worker" By William Gibson.

1942 words - 8 pages

Annie's Positive Influence On Helen, Captain Keller, Kate, and JamesThis essay displays Annie Sullivan's positive influence on Helen, James, Kate, and Captain Keller from the book The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. The Miracle Worker is a story that shows the strength and power of human will and its ability to triumph over the most devastating handicaps. During the course of the story Annie Sullivan makes extensive changes in the lives of the members of the Keller family.Foremost, Annie's most tremendous impact is on the main character of the story, Helen Keller. Annie not only teaches Helen to communicate with the environment around her, but at the same time she teaches her the proper etiquette of a human being without her disabilities. But that was not the case before she arrived at the Keller household. Before Annie had come to the Keller's, Helen was a child lost in her physical disabilities, and trapped inside a useless body, unable to communicate comprehensively with anyone or anything. She understood almost nothing, and had no code of civility. A legible example of this behaviour was when Helen would pace around the table during supper time, sniff gratuitously at her family member's dishes and taste their food openly without anyone noticing or paying even the least significant amount of attention to her doings (This is a good exposition that the Keller family has never taken the time to show Annie right from wrong). A quote from the novel which supports this information is "While this background talk is in progress, Helen is working around the table ultimately towards Annie's plate, she messes her hands in James's plate, then in Keller's, both men taking it so for granted that they hardly notice." (Pg.54, The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson, Bantam Books, New York, N.Y. 1975) When Annie wouldn't let Helen touch her plate, Helen had a tantrum and her parents thought it was very strange that Annie was doing this. They had found that the easiest way to live with Helen's disability was to constantly give Helen her own way, and let her do as she pleases, that way there was no tantrums. Annie opposed to this treatment because it taught Helen nothing and was making her spoiled. Annie did many things to contribute to Helen's behavioural improvement including the incident at the lunch table in which Helen decides that she is going to try and eat from Annie's plate with her hands. Annie does not let her proceed with her actions and quickly responds to it. Helen then throws a tantrum, which transforms into a full-fledged battle between her and Annie. Annie grabs a hand full of spoons and holds Helen down while handing her spoon after spoon, trying to induce Helen to eat with the utensils instead of her hands. The battle rumbles on until early evening when Annie comes out of the struggle victorious. As she comes outside, she proclaims to Kate, "She ate from her own plate. She ate with a spoon. Herself. And she folded her napkin." (Pg.#66) This...

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