Having read Helen Keller’s autobiography, I can say that I marvel at how she was able to adapt to her limited senses, and slowly turn into a very successful person. It is a story of overcoming the toughest of odds put against her, and we all love stories like that. People were placed on her path who had helped guide her along to redemption and freedom from her sensory imprisonment. I can’t say that this story has affected me, but it has indeed presented a life to remember, and I will not forget it.
There are a few things that have been significant, in my eyes, to the assistance of her success. One of these would be her surprisingly progressive understanding of language, not just English, but many European languages. When she was a young girl, she didn’t even know how to say the word water, and yet twenty years later she could speak German, French, Greek, and Latin! How could that not boggle the mind? Even making the simple connection between an object and a word she had never heard, and yet remember it and be able to associate one with the other instantly. It is almost miraculous.
Not only could she do that, but she could read and write. Even though she could not read what she wrote, the simple fact that she knew what shape and direction to move her pen in order to make the word is pretty astounding. If we were to close our eyes and try to write the word “impressive” we probably wouldn’t be able to keep it on the same line. But she could do that. Alongside that was her ability to read, not in words, but in braille. She did at first used raised print, but she quickly switched to braille, since it had been invented a few years earlier. Had she not been born when she had, she wouldn’t have been able to read since the technology wouldn’t have been present.
One of the last things about her that astound me is that even though she was disabled the way she was, she was much more advanced in knowledge compared to average people of her time. One of the things that contributed to this was, in fact, books and reading. She read so many novels and history books that she knew more than people twice, even thrice her age. She even went to college after graduating high school with flying colors. She even had her own political view point on war and industry.
I can say that Helen Keller was an unusually amazing person. Her ability to go above and beyond, despite her physical limitations attempting to slow her down, is simply aw inspiring. Even the vocabulary used in the book I read shows that she was a powerful writer, and that she had indeed conquered her strife. She continues to be a sign that no matter what is holding us back, we can accomplish amazing things. I encourage you to read her story too.