Character Sketches from the Novel The Story of My Life Part-I Term-I| Class 10th

Helen Keller

Hellen Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer who was born on June 27, 1880 at Tuscumbia, a little town in northern Alabama. She lost her ability to see and hear at the age of nineteen months due to illness. The world became dark for her but soon her teacher came and enlighten her path. Her teacher, Miss Sullivan taught her to communicate and helped in learning many great things.

Helen was a great lover of nature and studied mostly with nature. She travelled a lot as she had desire to see and experience new things. She liked the company of others also. She made many friends in her journey. She learnt various subjects with the help of her teacher. She became weak when her first writing was regarded as plagiarism but she soon overcame. She never let her physical disabilities obstruct her in path of success.

Miss Anne Sullivan

Miss Anne Sullivan was Helen’s teacher and mentor. She came in her life when she was just seven years old. She was sent by the Perkins Institute for blind. The day of arrival of Miss Sullivan is the most important for Helen as she opened the gate of information to her. She guided Helen through all phases of her life. Helen experience many parts of nature with her. Miss Sullivan taught her to communicate by spelling the words on her hand. Miss Sullivan was herself a partially sighted and understood all the difficulties faced by a blind person. She was adorable woman and had a great patience. She also her subjects like Arithmetic, History, Geography, Zoology etc. in playful manner. She also helped Helen in learning speaking. Together they spent a lot of good times.

Arthur H. Keller

Arthur H. Keller was father of Helen Keller who was a captain in the Confederate Army. He was editor of a newspaper. He was brave, loving and indulgent person. He was good hunter and storyteller. He was quite close to his family. He only left his family when he went to hunt. He was hospitable to a fault and seldom came home without bringing a guest. He loved gardening and used to lead Helen from tree to tree and from vine to vine. He used to spell words into her daughter, Helen’s hand and made her to repeat them. He was in sorrow seeing her daughter helpless. He consulted many doctor to get her proper treatment. He felt relief when he found a proper teacher for her daughter. He died in the summer of 1896.

Mildred Keller

Mildred Keller was Helen’s younger sister. Before her birth Helen used to get all the attention from her parents but after Mildred’s birth things changed which made Helen jealous of her. When they grew up, they became friends. However, she could not understand Helen’s finger language. Once at the Fern Quarry, they get lost in woods. Mildred pointed towards the trestle and they walked over it. They climbed a moving train and returned to their cottage. This shows her alert behaviour.

Martha Washington

Martha Washington was daughter of the cook of Keller’s family. She was a coloured who became Helen’s companion in her early days. She understood Helen’s signs. She was a mischievous girl. Helen always dominated her and made her do what she wanted to do. She submitted her to Helen because she didn’t want to fight with Helen. She used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with Helen kneading dough balls, making ice-cream, grinding coffee, quarrelling over the cake bowl and feeding hens and turkeys. She also used to go to egg-hunting in the long grass with Helen.

Kate Keller

Kate Keller was the mother of Helen Keller. She was second wife of Arthur H. Keller who was much elder to her. She was tall, fair complexioned and had blonde hair and blue eyes. She was very supportive and cooperative. She was intelligent, well read and had a good memory. She understood crude signs made by Helen in her early illness days. She loved her daughter very much and took a great of her. She was a hardworking woman and did everything for her family. When she read the account of Laura Bridgman, a deaf and blind girl who still got educated by Dr. Howe in Charles Dickens’ ‘American Notes’, she gained a new hope for Helen that she might be educated. However, Dr. Howe died long ago and his methods probably died with him. She had positive attitude towards the life.

Michael Anagnos

Michael Anagnos was director of Perkins institute of Blind in Boston. When Helen’s father sent her a letter, she found Anne Sullivan and sent her to taught Helen. After Helen joined the Perkins Institute, he became a friend of her. Later, his friendship with Helen broke due to reason of a story named ‘The Frost King’. Helen wrote this story and sent to Mr. Anagnos on his birthday which he published in one of the reports of the institute. The story later found the copy of another story. Mr. Anagnos felt Helen had cheated on her. She accused Helen for plagiarism despite knowing her for years. However, after the publication of “The Story of Life” in the Ladies’ Home Journal, Mr Anagnos made statement that he supported Helen. His friendship with Helen not restored.

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