character sketch of miss sullivan from novel the story of my life
Miss Sullivan is the teacher and constant companion of Helen. She successfully awakens Helens soul to light and freedom, and sets her spirit free. She is thy spiritual liberator, Whittier has said to Helen about Miss Sullivan.
On third of March, 1887, Miss Sullivan arrived at the house of the Kellers. From that day on, Helens life took a completely different turn: from darkness to light, from isolation to friendship. Miss Sullivan was an extremely patient and considerate teacher who never failed to understand Helens frustration and discontentment. She methodically taught Helen how to communicate using her fingers and then assisted her in her education through all the institutions that Helen attended.
Miss Sullivans method of teaching was very effective. She illustrated everything she taught using a poem or a story. Besides, she used to take Helen out-of-doors and teach her in the lap of nature. This way, not only did she help Helen learn lessons, but also developed the bond between Helen and the world she was deprived of. Helen dedicates her success in articulating speech sounds to Miss Sullivans genius, untiring perseverance and devotion.
The Story of My Life reveals Annie Sullivan as the inspiration behind Helen Keller's extraordinary life. She is only partially-sighted herself, after undergoing surgery to correct her vision at a young age and herself having been educated at The Perkins Institute for The Blind, a place instrumental in Helen Keller's own development.
Anne Sullivan, Annie, is the person responsible for "the most important day I remember in all my life" (ch 5) as Helen recognizes Annie's contribution throughout her life as teacher, interpreter, friend, companion and motivator. Annie never misses an opportunity to teach Helen, whether it be academically or life skills. She teaches Helen an appreciation in even the smallest detail: "in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand."(ch 5) Annie has the capacity to help Helen connect with nature and "made me feel that 'birds and flowers and I were happy peers.'"(ch 5)One of Annie Sullivan's most instrumental effects is felt when she makes Helen "Think." It is this that helps Helen make the connection between the abstract and the physical as "you feel the sweetness that it (love) pours into everything."(ch 6) Annie makes "every subject so real that I could not help remembering."(ch 7) So profound is the impact that Annie Sullivan has on Helen that "her being is inseparable from my own, and (that) the footsteps of my life are in hers." (ch 7