Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Story of my Life - Helen Keller

 About the book:

          Recounting her triumph over deafness and blindness and her journey toward becoming one of the most successful and admired women of this century, Helen Keller writes her own remarkable story, providing an emblem of hope and possibility for all.

          I've been meaning to read about Helen Keller's life for a long time and this book has set me on my way. I first heard about Helen Keller way back, when I was in school. At that time, I couldn't fully comprehend the struggle she had to undergo, the battles she had to fight to become what she had become. Nevertheless, her name had stuck to my mind, and for years I went around meaning to read her life, but just couldn't get myself to do it. A few weeks back, as I was roaming Starmark with my friends, I came across this book and immediately got a copy and set about reading it. I must say I regret not knowing her before.

          What an extraordinary life this woman has had! This book is so full of raw emotions and struggles that will make your heart weep for the pour soul trapped within. This book is a rude reminder of the things that I have taken for granted, of the gifts that have been so generously bestowed upon me and the luxuries that I have been overlooking everyday. To be deaf and dumb and yet get educated and go on to become a political and literary figure is no less a miracle and this woman is no less a true hero in every sense.

          Now, as to the book, it mainly deals with Helen's education and the role of her teacher Anne Sullivan in it. It is a honest and humble account of the author's life, her mood swings, her strong passion and unbreakable will.She also traces the various people who have played their part in making Helen what she had become. The one thing that struck me as extraordinary was Helen's indomitable spirit, her willingness to strive for betterment no matter whatever your drawbacks are. Her ability to draw life lessons from nature is sure to leave an everlasting impression on the readers. 

“Indeed, everything that could hum, or buzz, or sing, or bloom had a part in my education--noisy-throated frogs, katydids and crickets held in my hand until, forgetting their embarrassment, they trilled their reedy note, little downy chickens and wildflowers, the dogwood blossoms, meadow-violets and budding fruit trees. I felt the bursting cotton-bolls and fingered their soft fiber and fuzzy seeds; I felt the low soughing of the wind through the cornstalks, the silky rustling of the long leaves, and the indignant snort of my pony...” 

          My first tear was shed when Helen understood the word "water". What joy! What relief! What delight to the soul. 

“It is so pleasant to learn about new things. Every day I find how little I know, but I do not feel discouraged since God has given me an eternity in which to learn more.” - these lines pretty much sum up her desire to explore, learn and understand the world.

          The book is so full of such motivational messages, as listed here. A must read story of success for everyone!

About the Author:

         Helen Keller would not be bound by conditions. Rendered deaf and blind at 19 months by scarlet fever, she learned to read (in several languages) and even speak, eventually graduating with honors from Radcliffe College in 1904, where as a student she wrote The Story of My Life. That she accomplished all of this in an age when few women attended college and the disabled were often relegated to the background, spoken of only in hushed tones, is remarkable. But Keller's many other achievements are impressive by any standard: she authored 13 books, wrote countless articles, and devoted her life to social reform. An active and effective suffragist, pacifist, and socialist (the latter association earned her an FBI file), she lectured on behalf of disabled people everywhere. She also helped start several foundations that continue to improve the lives of the deaf and blind around the world.      

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