Theme of The Novel The Story of My Life
Q.1. The Story of My Life tells us the sufferings of a physically disabled child. How?
Answer: Keller’s main message in her autobiography is that you can persevere through anything in life. She also wrote to express the survival of her disabilities and how she overcame them. Keller’s purpose was to inspire and people to endure. To tell people not to tease or hurt people who had disabilities because they were not any different from them. Helen Keller wrote her life story as a tool for other people to learn from. She was plagued by disabilities that she had to overcome. To tell blind, deaf, and mute people that they are just ordinary people.
Q.2. Helen’s life is a saga of a strong lady. Do you agree? Give some examples in support of it.
Answer: Winston Churchill called Helen Keller “the greatest woman of our age”. The single greatest lesson readers take away front The Story of My Life is the value of perseverance. Without the ability to see or hear, Keller learned to function and interact within society in a meaningful way. Her drive to make a place for herself in the world started when she was very young. Even as a child, she found ways to help her mother around the house, rather than stay in a world that was dark, silent, and lonely. In fact, the terrible fits for which she is so well-known were the product of her extreme frustration at not being able to make herself understood and not having anyone else reach out and communicate with her. Once she overcame her obstacles and learned to communicate, she was driven to accomplish her high goals. She garnered many achievements, but she also gave credit for her accomplishments to her teacher Miss Sullivan whom she had a lovely relationship.
Q.3. Anne Sullivan gave a new direction to Helen’s life. How?
Answer: There are teachers and then there are educators. Ms Sullivan clearly qualified the second category, for it was her endeavour to teach Helen the essential skills of being human and then delve into the deep recesses that the child herself did not know the depth of. In spite of her harrowing experiences at the hands of the wild child. Anne was determined to break the horse and get it to learn to be civilised. She did not confine her teaching lessons into the four walls of the room; instead, the lessons were imparted under the blue sky and from life itself.
Q.4. Learning new words broke all the barriers in Helen’s life. Elucidate with examples.
Answer: Yes, learning new words broke all the barriers in Helen’s life. One day Helen was playing with her doll when Mrs Sullivan handed her over, her a doll and spelt the word “doll” to indicate the objects but Helen refused to accept. Earlier that morning, she had got mixed up over the use of the words mug and water and out of frustration at being contradicted, smashed her new doll, deriving a sadistic pleasure at having hurt Ms Sullivan. The teacher, however, was not the one to give up, so she took Helen to the good house and there spelt the word water into her hand under the running water. The entire exercise opened up a new world of hope, knowledge and joy for Helen.
Q.5. How did Helen discover beauty in the natural aspects of nature?
Answer: Nature played an important role in Helen’s education. The freedom that Helen felt midst the openness and vastness of nature made up for her dark, confined world and she felt at ease. There was so much for her to explore and she could decipher the signals. She had found herself a beautiful place on the tree top in her garden. It was on top of the mimosa tree near the summer house and she spent many happy hours sitting in it. It was her tree of paradise as it had helped her to overcome her fear of nature and build her confidence.
Q.6. What made Helen realise that under softest touch hides treacherous claws?
Answer: Helen Keller states. “Nature wages open war against her children and under softest touch hides treacherous claws.” She feels that nature cannot always be great, there are some things about nature that can be horrid when Keller first tried to climb the tree, a limb had fallen and she had gotten scared, and she wanted her teacher, Anne Sullivan. She states “The mere thought filled me with terror.” Helen Keller means, even though nature is beautiful, tinder all that beauty. she can be hiding some horrid stuff just as the mother was both tender and strict nature too could prove threatening. It was when she was returning home from her long walk with Ms Sullivan. It was a fine day and she felt drawn to the cherry tree wishing to climb it. Ms Sullivan let her have her way in and came home to fetch the lunch as they intended to eat it sitting up in the tree. The weather took a turn for the worst and soon the thunderstorm built up that shook the tree to its roots and poor Helen the life drain out of her for fear. She intended to jump off when Ms Sullivan reached there and held her in her arms. She was equally scared of Helen’s safety.
Q.7. How did Helen’s field of inquiry broaden? Why did she wish to return to the same subjects again and again?
Answer: Helen field of inquiry broadened when her interrogations against the abstract words like love and think have arisen. Helen had always been a quick and efficient learner and once she came to know that everything had a name, she went about conquering words, phrases and sentences. With every passing day, her thirst for knowledge grew but one day she found herself stuck when Ms Sullivan tried to impress upon her, the meaning of the word ‘love’. the flow could she define this phenomenon? She tried to draw several parallels but it was only the in-depth understanding of the teacher who did not give up till she had made the girl realise the meaning and essence of love, likening it to the clouds in the sky that cannot be touched but bring with them a promise for joy for the thirsty earth after a hot day.
Q.8. Real learning needs the active involvement of the teacher. What do you think?
Answer: Though she was all of the twenty-one herself, yet Ms Sullivan showed a great maturity of character in dealing with her student. She had developed her methodology of letting Helen learn by doing. It was the hands-on patience that worked well. Moreover, she had a knack of telling things. She never bothered the girl with Unnecessary details but went about quickly over them. never once scolding Helen for not remembering her lessons.S he went slowly and patiently, introducing subjects and technicalities in little details, fragments that the receptive mind of Helen could not help but remember. Miss Sullivan was indeed a good teacher. She had a long association with the blind and so had a peculiar sympathy for Helen. Her way of describing things was great. The uninteresting details were taken over by her in a quick way and sit: never asked Helen questions to see whether she remembered the previous lessons or not. All the lessons took place in sunlight woods to the house, making them more interesting and easier to learn. She broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing Helen to blossom as she learned to communicate.
Q.9. Santa Claus fulfils our wishes. Did he bring joy for Helen? How can you say?
Answer: Helen was very excited about her real Christmas gift. She kept on guessing what it could be as she could get hints from her friends. Her excitement kept on growing. When she woke up on Christmas, there were gifts all around on the table, all chairs, at the door, on the window sill. In fact, it was difficult for her to walk without stumbling. Then Miss Sullivan presented her a canary – a singing bird. She named it little Tim. Life with Tim became exciting as it would hop on her finger and eat candid cherries out of her hand. She was taught how to take care of pets by Miss Sullivan. Tim kept her busy as she made his cage clean and sweet, filled his cups with fresh seed and water and hung a spray of chicken weed in his swing. But one day she left Tim’s cage on the window- sill and went to fetch water for his bath. On returning back, she felt the rush of the cat and found Tim gone when she put her hands inside the cage. Immediately she realised that she had lost her sweet little singer.
Q.10. Time makes you independent. Discuss
Answer: Time is not only a great healer but teaches the hard lessons of life which truly made you responsible, independent and accountable. Time really makes you independent. It is common saying ‘Experience is a great teacher’. Once we come up front with the hard realities of life soon we find some way to face those challenges to make our life smoother. Time teaches you everything. Once Helen overcame her illness of blindness and deafness, with the passage of time she became the famous personality of the world. Undoubtedly her teacher played a greater role to make her independent from dependent. She taught her every lesson of life and Helen grabbed it as a more efficient learner which later allowed her to handle her life more independently.
Q.11. Sometimes books encourage us to learn more. How does “our world” instigate Helen?
Answer: Books are the mirror of the real world theoretically not practically. But it opens our inquisitiveness and desire to see the world in the real sense. The same thing happened with Helen. Helen had read about the sea in her book “Our World” and was excited to visit it. The spirit of adventure had caused Helen to undertake all those activities that a normal child would. She had always wondered about the vastness of the ocean and her first feel and experience of the beaches when she visited Boston and fearlessly plunged into the billowing ocean. She says that she felt ecstatic and sheer joy made her quiver but only until she was pulled under the water as she lost her balance. It was a harrowing experience but it did not deter her from enjoying the beauty of the ocean as she spent time on the shore. She loved the salty water and was upset that she could not stay there for long.
Q.12. Chapter 13 displays that determination and dedication compel the most difficult tasks to be done successfully. Elaborate
Answer: Helen was a determined, devoted and hard working child. Helen had yearned to speak ever since she was a small girl. However the fact that she was hearing impaired proved a great hindrance in the development of her speech. It was very frustrating for Helen who continued to feel the sounds and the lip movements of the people around her, without any success. It was with the efforts of Ms Sarah Fuller and constant practice on the part of Helen that she learnt to catch the vibrations of the throat when people were talking and the movements of their mouth and their facial expressions. Helen completely dependent on her fingers and the sense of touch in catching the vibrations and she forced herself to repeat the words and sentences for hours. She was frequently discouraged by friends but her. need to be understood by all was far more intense that made her preserve and keep practising. Finally, the happiest moment arrived. Helen had developed speech and was eager to return home. As she reached the station and her family heard her speak, they were overjoyed. Her mother was speechless with delight and her tightly; Mildred danced in joy hugged clasped her hand and kissed her, and her father expressed his pride and affection by a “big silence. Helen’s power of speech seems to be a Biblical reference. A parallel drawn to her life’s difficulties: She wishes to convey that even heavens and nature bows down in front of one’s ceaseless efforts and determination. She worked hard and there was nothing that she could not achieve. It was nothing short of a miracle and even the forces of nature applauded her.
Q.13. inspiration helps a person in making his ideas bloom then why copying is not considered good?
Answer: It is well in saying that one has to be inspired by others to bloom in their lives. Inspiration in the field of writing always gives wings to other ideas but just the mere copying of an inspired product is not morally authentic. One should always learn from thousands but develop their own unique out of those thousands of ideas which later inspire others to follow them. Following someone is not bad undoubtedly it blooms the garden of ideas but just copying the same which the others already predicted is the symptom of plagiarism.