About the author
Helen Adams Keller (June 27,1880 – June 1, 1968) was an
American author, political activist and lecturer. She was the first
deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The prolific
author, Keller was well traveled and was outspoken in her
opposition to war. She campaigned for women’s suffrage,
workers’ rights, and socialism, as well as many other progressive
causes. There was one great soul in Keller’s life who was the
reason for all her achievements in life, Anne Sullivan, Helen’s
Anne Mansfield Sullivan
“The Miracle Worker’’ in Helen’s life
Helen Keller is the author of The Story of My Life.
The story is actually an autobiography of her
Arthur H. Keller
Helen’s father, Arthur Keller had been a captain
in the Confederate army. He was a hospitable
man who enjoyed bringing guests home to see
Helen’s mother, Kate Keller was an early source
of comfort for the troubled child. Kate learned
the manual alphabet so that she could
communicate effectively with her daughter.
Anne Mansfield Sullivan
When Anne went to teach Helen Keller, she was
only twenty years old and a recent graduate of
the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
Throughout Helen’s life, Sullivan was dedicated
to supporting her efforts in education and in
social reform, which was uninterrupted even
after Sullivan married Helen Keller’s editor,
John Albert Macy. Sullivan died in 1936.
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell first met Helen when
she was six years old and her parents brought
her to him for advice on how to teach her. Dr.
Bell remained a friend to Helen Keller and
Anne Sullivan. “The Story of My Life “is
dedicated to him.
The director of the Perkins Institution. He sent
Anne Sullivan to the Helen Kellers’ home. He
and Helen became friends.
Martha Washington: The child of the Kellers’ cook and
Helen’s childhood friend.
Mildred Keller: Helen’s sister.
Miss Sarah Fuller: The principal of the Horace Mann
School, where Helen learned to speak.
Dr. Chisholm: He was the oculist ( eye doctor) who
treated Helen and referred her to Dr. Alexander
Mr. Arthur Gilman: Arthur Gilman was the principal at
Radcliffe College, where Helen attained her degree.
Mr. Keith: He was Helen’s mathematics instructor at the
Cambridge School for Young Ladies.
Mr. Irons: A Latin scholar and a family friend of Anne
John P. Spaulding: Spaulding was a dear friend to Helen
Miss Reamy: Helen Keller’s German teacher at the WrightHumason School for the Deaf.
John Greenleaf Whittier: One of the “many men of genius”
Oliver Wendell Holmes: One of the “many men of genius”
Charles Townsend Copeland: Copeland taught Helen English
composition class at Radcliffe College.
Frau Grote: Grote was Helen’s German teacher at Radcliffe
Bishop Brooks: One of the “many men of genius” Helen
knew. He spoke beautifully to her throughout her life on
matters of religion and spirituality.
Margaret T. Canby: Canby was the author of “The Frost
Fairies”, on which Helen’s “the Frost King” was inadvertently
Ella: Ella , Helen’s childhood nurse, was subject to her terrible
fits and spiteful acts.
Helen Keller, the little deaf and blind girl was triumphed over adversity to become world
famous. Helen was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Captain Arthur
Henry Keller, a confederate army veteran and a newspaper editor, and Kate Adams
Keller. By all accounts, she was a normal child. But at 19 months, Helen suffered an
illness – scarlet fever or meningitis that left her deaf and blind. Although Helen learned
basic household tasks and could communicate some of her desires through a series of
signs, she did not learn language the way other children do. Indeed, her family wondered
how a deaf and blind child could be educated. At the age of six, her mother managed to get
a teacher, Anne Sullivan, to teach Helen. After studying at the Wright Humason School
for the Deaf and the Cambridge School for Young ladies, Helen entered Radcliff College in
1900 and finished her graduation in 1904.
The Story of My Life shows, Helen Keller’s life is neither a miracle nor a joke. It is a
tremendous achievement. It is destined to be imprisoned in darkness and isolation for the
rest of her life, Helen built upon the brilliant work of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, to
become an inter-nationally recognized and respected figure. In 1908 Helen published
“The World I Live In”, an account of how she experienced the world through touch, taste
and scent. In magazine articles she advocated for increased opportunities for the blind and
for improving methods of reducing childhood blindness.
In 1909, Helen joined the Socialist Party of Massachusetts and supported many
progressive era causes, including birth control, labour unions and the right of
women to vote. In 1924, her popularity somewhat recovered, Helen began working
as a lecturer fund-raiser for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Helen
was devastated when her companion Anne Sullivan died in 1936. After the Second
World War she toured more than thirty countries, continuing her advocacy for the
blind. In 1955, she published the biography of Anne Sullivan “Teacher”, and in
1957 “The Open door”, a collection of essays. In 1964 she was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President
Lyndon Johnson. On 1st June, 1968, she died at her home in Arcane Ridge,
In the second part of the book, we can read the letters written by Helen to her
beloved ones during 1887-1901. It was quite interesting and informative with
wonder and curiosity. Through these letters, she opened her mind, saw, felt and
touched the worlds of wonders. They are exercises which have trained her to
write. The book “Story of My Life” is a story of courage and determination and a
work of inspirational literature.
My Opinion of the Novel
I found the book very interesting as it narrates the life of
Helen Keller and the obstacles she had to overcome in life
as a deaf and blind person and finally become what she
wanted to achieve. It is an inspirational book and I
would recommend this book.