The Miracle Worker By William Gibson, Essay With Quotes Describing Annie's Battle With The Keller Family (Page Numbers Are From My Literature Book)

1527 words - 6 pages

William Gibson's play, The Miracle Worker, illustrates how people who triumph over hardships can succeed in achieving their goals. The play follows Annie Sullivan, a half-blind northern young woman, as she travels to Post-Civil War Tuscumbia, Alabama in order to teach Helen Keller, a blind and deaf little girl. When she arrives in Alabama, Annie meets Helen's family members; her father, Captain Keller, is a stubborn, commanding former Civil War captain and her mother, Kate Keller, is a young, overly protective woman, both of them have kept Helen almost as a pet because they did not know what to do with her or how to treat her. In order for Annie to succeed in teaching Helen, she has to battle with Captain Keller's stubbornness, Kate's overly protectiveness, and Helen's combativeness.For instance, Annie is forced to show her combative side as she repeatedly faces off with Captain Keller to be able to teach Helen better. For example, Annie and Captain Keller argue at the breakfast table over how to teach Helen, and Captain Keller exclaims, "'I fail to see where you have taught her anything yet, Miss Sullivan!' to which Annie responds angrily, 'I'll begin this minute if you'll leave the room, Captain Keller! (Gibson 668). Captain Keller desperately wants to have peace at the breakfast table; however, Annie interrupts that peace by demanding that he leave the room. Annie knows that, in order for her to be able to discipline Helen, Captain Keller and Kate must leave the room so that they cannot interfere. In addition, Annie requests another week to teach Helen without the interference of her family, and Captain Keller exclaims, "And what would one more week accomplish? We are more than satisfied, you've done more than we ever thought possible, taught her constructive--"(691). Captain Keller is more than satisfied because Annie has taught Helen manners and how to behave. Annie is frustrated with the Kellers because she knows that Helen's learning manners is only the first step in her education; Annie wants to teach Helen communication, but knows that this skill is unattainable with Kate and Captain Keller's frequent interferences. Furthermore, at Helen's welcome home dinner, Helen tests her parents and throws a water pitcher on Annie, Captain Keller tries to stop Annie from disciplining Helen, but Annie rounds on him and yells, "Don't smooth anything else out for me, don't interfere in any way! I treat her like a seeing child because I ask her to see, I expect her to see, don't undo what I do! (700). Helen has been in the garden house with Annie for the past two weeks, following rules day and night, and Captain Keller wants to make Helen's welcome home dinner more enjoyable by allowing her more freedom than she has had in the past two weeks. Annie knows that if Captain Keller allows Helen to get her way, even once, all the progress she has made over the past two weeks will have gone to waste and she will return to her previous bad habits and...

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