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Miracle Worker Essay, Research Paper

Title The Miracle Worker

Author William Gibson

Setting This book is primarily set in the Keller homestead of Tuscumbia, Alabama during the 1880s. The story also takes place in the Perkins Institution of Boston briefly.

Characters Helen Keller, Captain Arthur Keller (Helen s father), Kate Keller (Helen s mother), Aunt Ev (Helen s aunt and Kate s sister), Annie Sullivan, Mr. Anagnos, a Doctor, Viney (a Negro servant), James Keller (Helen s brother), Martha and Percy (two Negro children).

Plot Summary This book chronicles the life of a remarkable girl, Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind. The Keller family took Helen to one specialist after another, desperately searching for answers. Most people saw this frightened child as a wild animal, without the slightest hope of becoming normal . However, Annie Sullivan, a kind, patient young woman saw potential in Helen. She struggled with Helen and eventually succeeded in making her not only a productive member of society, but one of the most inspirational figures in history.

The Miracle Worker, written by William Gibson, is a play based on the true story of Helen Keller, a woman widely known for her struggle against blindness and deafness.

This play gives the reader an insight of Helen s everyday hardships and quality of life. It provides a true understanding of the doubts and low expectations held by the people around her, and helps you to really appreciate her remarkable achievements.

The play opens with Helen as a seemingly healthy infant, but little time passes before a dreadful discovery is made. After Helen is diagnosed as deaf and blind, her parents seek all available medical advice in the hopes of a miracle or cure. In the beginning of the story, Helen behaves in a primitive manner, throwing constant tantrums and disobeying her parents. Her prognosis is beyond unfavorable, and most people have given up all hope in her.

Helen s parents tried their best to give Helen a chance at becoming a productive member of society. Their support of her is evident in their frequent medical visits to specialists, in the hopes of finding a cure or even a miracle. However, they received the same dismal answers everywhere they looked. Their harmful effects on her appeared after they began to give up hope and lose all faith in her. To avoid her tantrums, Helen s parents gave her what she wanted, therefore, allowing her illness to take over.

By the middle of the story, Annie Sullivan, a caring 20 year-old woman, saw beyond Helen s animalistic qualities into the soul of a frightened little girl. With the help of Annie s patience and determination, Helen began to improve. She was no longer granted whatever it was that she wanted, and had to work towards becoming civilized. Annie strived to teach Helen Braille, manners, and everyday skills.

At the end of the play, Helen has been transformed into a refined citizen. She has respect for others, self-esteem, patience, and a sense of right and wrong. She is nothing short of the miracle her parents had searched for, although she has not been cured, but rather conditioned. Annie and Helen should share responsibility for this miracle, because it was their hard work that made it possible. Without Annie, Helen would have been trapped forever in her dark existence as a misunderstood and primitive woman. Annie helped Helen to experience the joys of life, but Helen also had to strive for her own success. Together, their winning combination changed Helen’s life forever.

The life of Helen Keller has been an inspiration to many people all over the world, including people that do not even suffer from an illness. I think Helen was very brave and courageous for believing in herself and becoming educated, even though all odds were against her. I think that she is such an inspiration because what she did was not easy, and she set herself a goal and accomplished it. We should set aside something and do it, just like Helen did. She is a role model for me because I admire her accomplishments, especially her college degree, which is hard for even a healthy person to achieve. Helen inspires handicapped people because they find themselves in her shoes, with a gloomy prognosis and not much hope, and can appreciate how far she came.

The story of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker can be compared to the story of another inspiration, John Gunther in Death Be Not Proud. John Gunther was a seventeen-year-old with a bright future and a level head on his shoulders when he was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. A common theme between the two is the idea of being given a challenge. Life threw a curve ball at both of these people, but the way it was dealt with and the outcomes were different. Although they were both afflicted with incurable illnesses, John s was fatal and Helen s was only a handicap. Another common theme is the courageous spirit exemplified by both John and Helen. John impressed his friends and family with his courage, friendliness, and endurance in times of hopelessness, which later led his father to record his son s story in Death Be Not Proud.

Helen s courage is evident in her determination to break free from the dark prison within herself and achieve the unbelievable. I think it is this courageous spirit that makes Helen and John two of the most inspirational characters in literature. The fact that they are both true stories just adds to the inspirational quality.

The story of Helen Keller has changed the lives of so many people, including my own. To me, she seems to be a gift from God to civilization, reminding us that when we are depressed we should consider the less fortunate. When the problems in my life seem overwhelming, I think of the struggles and triumph of Helen. Her achievements, including graduation from college and the publication of an autobiography, would be praised in today s society, so you can only imagine the way they were received in the early 1900s.

Helen Keller lived from 1880 to 1968 and her motivating story is still very popular today. It has been adapted to all mediums, including several books, a play, and two motion pictures. She changed the way America viewed the deaf and blind and contributed to medical research. Her contribution to society is immeasurable; she has motivated thousands, maybe even millions, stop feeling sorry for themselves and change their lives for the better.

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