The Story of My Life by Helen Keller Chapter 13 Summary

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller Chapter 13 Summary, Notes and Question and Answers

The Story of My life- Novel for class 10- English CBSE By Helen Keller

Introduction of Chapter 13- the Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Helen had been trying desperately to speak, but she was not successful in her attempts. She did not lose heart The story of RagnhildKaata, a deaf and blind girl in Norway, who had been taught to speak was narrated to her in 1890. by Mrs Lamson. This story inspired her to continue with her attempts. Miss. Sullivan took her to Miss Sarah  Fuller, Principal of  Horace School, who agreed to teach Helen herself. Miss. Fuller’s simple but unique method made Helen speak her first connected sentence- “It is warm”. Thus with Miss. Sullivan’s tireless efforts and Helen’s strong determination, the latter was able to speak on her own. She discarded the manual alphabet as a medium of communication. Now Helen had a great sense of self-esteem. Even her thoughts seemed to flow more easily when she expressed them. She could now explain the use of the manual alphabet, also called fingerspelling. in fact, this phase can be considered as the second part of her life story.

Conclusion/ Chapter in short/ Analysis of Chapter 13/Understanding the Theme of Chapter 13

Helen talks about her attempts to speak. She was inspired by Ragnhild Kaata, a deaf and blind girl in Norway who had been taught to speak.

Short Summary of Chapter-13 The Story of My Life by Helen Keller in Simple Words-

This chapter records Helen’s attempts at learning to speak. There was a strong impulse to utter audible sounds within her and she was inordinately pleased with anything that made a noise. She was inspired by the story of Ragnhild Kaata, a deaf and blind girl in Norway who had actually been taught to speak. Helen learnt the elements of speech from Miss Sarah Fuller and uttered her first words with her help. Helen felt as if her soul had come out of bondage. She showed a strong determination and eagerness to show off her new skills to her family. Her joy knew no bounds when she felt people responding to her speech. She practised harder even when discouragement and weariness cast her down, but what spurred her on was the thought of revealing her new ability to her loved ones. Helen also describes the delighted surprise of her family at her new achievement.

Extra Important Questions and Answers of Chapter 13

How did Helen learn to ‘hear with her fingers’?
Helen would place her fingers lightly on the lips of the speaker and copy the movement. She would feel the purring of the cat and the barking of the dog with her fingers.

Why did Helen make sounds and try to copy others?
Helen tried to copy the sounds of others around her because she felt a deep need to exercise her vocal chords.

Why was Helen filled with eagerness after hearing the story of Ragnhild Kaata?
Ragnhild Kaata was a deaf and blind girl in Norway who had been taught to speak. On hearing about her, Helen resolved not to rest till she too learnt to speak.

Why is the 26 March 1890 a date Helen would never forget?
26 March 1890 held deep significance for Helen as she started learning how to speak at the Horace Mann School from the principal, Miss Sarah Fuller.

How did Miss Fuller teach Helen?
Miss Fuller passed Helen’s hand lightly over her face and make her feel the position of her tongue and lips as she made a sound. Helen imitated every motion and in an hour learnt six elements of speech.

What did her efforts to learn to speak reveal about Helen’s character?
Helen’s tryst with learning to speak reveals her determination as she put in all her effort to overcome her disability.

How did Helen motivate herself to learn?
Helen motivated herself by thinking about her sister’s delight at her achievement and by repeating to herself the statement, `I am not dumb now’.

Why was Helen’s father quiet when he came to receive her at the station?
Helen’s father’s joy at hearing her speak was so great that he could not speak himself. He expressed his delight through silence.

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