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Although two different pieces of work may tell two completely different stories, there are always several similarities that can be found. Apart from the fact that Paul Zindel s The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and William Gibson s The Miracle Worker are both plays, they also have many things in common with each other. In both books, we can see that a significant event occurs which affects the family, changing many things. In Marigolds, the significant event is when Tillie is chosen as one of the five Science Fair finalists. Many might say that an even more important event is when Tillie won in the final judging of the Science Fair. However, once Tillie was chosen as one of the finalists, many things started to change from that point on. For example, the relationship between Tillie and Beatrice changed. Beatrice became proud of Tillie, and she was even a little excited about the whole situation. She even helped Tillie with her Science Fair project by making the titles, The Past, The Present, and The Future for her presentation. Also, in the beginning, it seemed as if Beatrice favored Ruth over Tillie. However after Tillie was chosen as a finalist, it seemed as if Beatrice favored Tillie over Ruth. Tillie s relationship with Ruth also improved. At the beginning, Ruth was always ashamed of being Tillie s sister because everyone thought Tillie was crazy. Whenever someone asked her whether she was actually related to Tillie, she would feel embarrassed. In addition, whenever others made fun of Tillie, Ruth didn t seem to care. In fact, it appears as if she joined in on the teasing. However, after Tillie was declared a finalist, Ruth became proud and boasted about being Tillie s sister. She also didn t want Tillie to be made fun of and tried to prevent that from happening. In one instance, she did so by advising her to take the bow off her hair that Beatrice had put there on the night of the Science Fair. Perhaps the ultimate change is when Beatrice decides to get rid of Nanny and open up her own shop, attempting to improve her and her family s life style. In The Miracle Worker, the significant event is when Annie Sullivan entered the Keller s lives to teach Helen. Many might argue that Helen s realization that all things have names by which they are called is a more significant event. However, that and many other things would not have happened if Annie never came into their lives. Therefore, Annie s entrance into their lives would be the more significant event. Aside from teaching Helen, her main task, which she accomplished, Annie taught the other Kellers, too. She made Captain realize that he must not allow Helen so much leeway. It also appears that Annie inspired James to stand up to Captain by her own unwillingness to be intimidated by him. James agreed with everything Annie said about allowing Helen to do whatever she wants, but he never said anything about it. However, he finally does stand up to him when he tried to go after Annie when she had taken Helen away from the homecoming party. Kate also learned that spoiling Helen was the wrong way to handle her. Then of course, Annie taught Helen, among many things, that everything has a name.

Another similarity between the two plays is the fact that in both, there are parents who handles their children in an incorrect manner. In Marigolds, this parent is Beatrice. It appears to be obvious that she has had a difficult childhood and has a lot of anger kept within her. It seems as though she is taking her anger out on her two daughters, but mostly on Tillie. Beatrice is angry with Tillie for being made fun of. She probably believes that Tillie s appearance and behavior brings about this teasing so she probably blames Tillie for that, which is wrong. Beatrice does not allow Tillie to attend school and never supports or shows interest in anything that her daughters do. She also sets a bad example for them by smoking and drinking. In The Miracle Worker, Captain and Kate allow Helen so much leeway that it leads Helen to believe that she can do anything that she wishes to do. They do not know how to handle her because of her handicaps, and therefore takes the easy way out by spoiling her. For example, instead of attempting to discipline her, they bribe Helen into ending her tantrums. At one point, Captain almost gave up trying to find a teacher who can educate Helen because of all the failed attempts in the past. It was wrong of him to give up. He should have kept the hope alive that someone, one day, will come along and teach Helen, and should have never given up. You can see how much Marigolds and The Miracle Worker have in common, illustrated by these two examples. You simply have to look hard enough and you can easily find them. The ones mentioned above are among many similarities that exist between the two books. However, these two are two of the most obvious ones that can be seen.


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