The Key Incidents That Led To Helen Keller’s Freedom

Helen Keller was a blind-deaf girl that learned to speak and was able to live a normal life with the help and patient dedication of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. She relates in her auto-biography how she lived in a dark prison for her first seven years. She relates how she was like a little animal—uncontrollable, mute, blind, deaf and desperate. She felt a desperate need for communication. She was a very smart child. But her brain was locked away. She was locked away in a little black room and only her teacher, Anne Sullivan, held the key.

It was a few weeks to Helen’s seventh birthday when Anne Sullivan arrived. They had numerous battles, both of them being strong willed and persistent. Helen refused to be patient. When Anne Sullivan persisted she would destroy something.

The day of the unlocking of her prison was the day they walked down to the pump-house. The water flowed over one hand and Anne spelled the word W-A-T-E-R into the other. Suddenly her mind made the connection. She associated the word W-A-T-E-R with the cool, liquid stuff that was flowing over her hand. This was the major turning point. Everything followed that.

With Anne Sullivan’s help, Helen was able to have a normal life. She could not see and she could not hear. But she learned to speak. She wrote her autobiography, she went on stage and she lived in her own home with her teacher and her friend, Polly. She was able, through the word W-A-T-E-R and the connection, to lead a normal life.

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