NO ONE COULD REACH HERTwelve year old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation Then Annie Sullivan came Half blind herself, but possessing an almost fanatical determination, she would begin a frightening and incredibly moving struggle to tame the wild girl no one could reach, and bring Helen into the world at last


10 thoughts on “The Miracle Worker: A Play

  1. Deanna Deanna says:

    No One Could Reach Her I went to this play and read this book when I was in grade 4 It had a huge impact on me It was all I could talk about for weeks I wanted to go see it again and again It will always be one of my favorite plays Another friend just posted a review of Helen Keller s autobiography and I look forward to reading that one too I would love to see this play with my daughter I remember watching as Helen got so upset when she couldn t express herself and fought those who tried No One Could Reach Her I went to this play and read this book when I was in grade 4 It had a huge impact on me It was all I could talk about for weeks I wanted to go see it again and again It will always be one of my favorite plays Another friend just posted a review of Helen Keller s autobiography and I look forward to reading that one too I would love to see this play with my daughter I remember watching as Helen got so upset when she couldn t express herself and fought those who tried to help The rages she flew into I was transfixed by all of it Hired by Helen s family, Annie Sullivan starts to work with Helen and slowly helps her learn to communicate and express herself This was no easy task Helen lashed out at Annie apparently even knocking a couple of Annie s teeth out during a rage However, Annie was determined to help this girl who she had grown to love She was not only going to help Helen communicate but also to live.I remember some of the boys teasing me because I was crying and usually I would have been so upset but I barely heard them After we saw the play we read the story in class As I got older I read it a fewtimes and always found it so inspirational and heartwarming.Such a wonderful memory


  2. Meg Meg says:

    One of my favorite plays the story of Anne Sullivan breaking through the darkness and silence of Helen Keller s world to teach her the very concept of language It reads incredibly well, but if you must see it in action, check out the classic film version with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke and absolutely DO NOT WATCH THE REMAKE It is craptacular to the extreme I just finished a run at the Hale Center Theater in Orem playing Helen Keller s mother Kate and it positively changed my life forever One of my favorite plays the story of Anne Sullivan breaking through the darkness and silence of Helen Keller s world to teach her the very concept of language It reads incredibly well, but if you must see it in action, check out the classic film version with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke and absolutely DO NOT WATCH THE REMAKE It is craptacular to the extreme I just finished a run at the Hale Center Theater in Orem playing Helen Keller s mother Kate and it positively changed my life forever I do love a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.FAVORITE MONOLOGUE Anne Sullivan I wanted to teach you oh, everything the earth is full of, Helen, everything on it that s ours for a wink and it s gone, and what we are on it, the light we bring to it and leave behind in words, why, you can see five thousand years back in a light of words, everything we feel, think, know and share, in words, so not a soul is in darkness, or done with, even in the grave


  3. Himanshu Karmacharya Himanshu Karmacharya says:

    For two weeks I ll give you two weeks in this place, and it will be a miracle if you get the child to tolerate you Tasked with an extraordinary challenge, Anne Sullivan set out to teach Helen Keller, the fundamentals of language and discipline Inspiring and heartwarming, The Miracle Worker makes the readers feel like miracles are indeed real.


  4. Se Se says:

    This was a fun read but it could be dry and reading it as a script from a play was a little strange for me.


  5. Emily Dybdahl Emily Dybdahl says:

    I think I must have read this play back in middle school or high school, but then forgot I read it It is very much worth a re read It is such a beautiful and moving true story and it meansto me now that I have little children of my own and think about it from a mother s perspective I want to readof the story of Annie Sullivan now as well and what happened to her poor little brother I m so glad I decided to re read this one


  6. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    This was a reread, I read it in 8th grade for English class and then we got to go see the play I reread this for a prompt on a challenge I m doing and the prompt was a book you read in school I loved this just as much as I did in 8th grade Such a great story.


  7. Patricia Patricia says:

    if annie sullivan and helen keller can do what they did..well, stop complaining.


  8. Valerie Valerie says:

    My paternal grandmother lived in Kansas City in the early 20th century The music halls in Kansas City were cheap and accessible in those days, and many widely known figures would come to play in Kansas City Helen Keller was one of those players My grandmother said that Helen had to have an interpreter present on stage, not only to convey questions to her, but to interpret her spoken words, since Helen never really mastered speaking well enough to be understood by strangers At the times my gr My paternal grandmother lived in Kansas City in the early 20th century The music halls in Kansas City were cheap and accessible in those days, and many widely known figures would come to play in Kansas City Helen Keller was one of those players My grandmother said that Helen had to have an interpreter present on stage, not only to convey questions to her, but to interpret her spoken words, since Helen never really mastered speaking well enough to be understood by strangers At the times my grandmother saw Helen, the companion was not her beloved Teacher, but Helen s sister, Mildred.I ve read many versions of Helen s story, and so I m not sure whether the significance of this sister is included in the play As Helen herself later recounted, Helen came in and found her baby sister lying in the crib Helen was accustomed to put her own doll in Helen unceremoniously dumped her sister out of the cradle fortunately, somebody witnessed the incident, and caught the baby as she fell , and put her doll in the cradle.It was this incident that made the already frantic efforts of Helen s family to get a cure for her all thedesperate It was because her family had refused to believe there was no cure for her blindness and deafness that they had insisted on a cure INSTEAD of having her educated Really she should have begun getting tuition immediately after she lost her sight and hearing at 19 months It wouldn t have done any harm even if she were curable, but if there was no cure, it was essential.When they reached the stage of desperation, they took Helen to see Dr Alexander Graham Bell, who agreed with other doctors that Helen s disabilities were not curable but who pointed out that it was possible to educate her.The play tellsabout Annie Sullivan s history than most sources taken from her letters, probably , though it doesn t go on to deal with other things such as that Annie was not formerly blind She had to tend her eyes very carefully even in this period, and had to have operations to restore her sight several times afterward , because they re after the period of the story.I have to say that I do understand the urgency of the situation Though it s not true that Helen had learned nothing before she had developed a sort of gestural pidgin, which was probablyeffective than anybody gives it credit for , if it had been left much longer, it s doubtful Helen would have been able to develop the remarkable linguistic skills she later had She might have been able to learn a little language Laura Bridgman, the first recipient of training in fingerspelling, was limited in her linguistic capacities, and this may be because she was already eight when her teaching began , but it s unlikely that Helen would have gotten as good at it as she did Nevertheless, I can t go along with the people who argue that the cruel treatment Annie meted out was justifiable Granted, Annie was quite young at the time, and she hadn t really been given much training in education methods But stillthere were no doubt better ways to teach even an obstinate child like Helen A preliminary study of the pidgin Helen and her family had developed would have been a good start.The miracle in the title is well described by Helen in her own works It s a little disturbing that the vital word had to go back to Helen s early verbalizations, however Helen had, after all, her own sign for mother But it s interesting in another way Most children s realization that language has meaning happen so early they don t remember it Helen, at seven, remembered it clearly, and was able to reduce it to very evocative words.In fact, focusing on the miracle , however much of a breakthrough it truly was, in many ways falsifies the picture Except when Helen insisted on learning to speak because she wanted to be able to communicate with people who didn t understand fingerspelling , Annie Sullivan was involved, as translator, tutor, and aide, in all of Helen s vigorous attempts at self education through college Annie insisted that she couldn t teach speech to Helen, so it was farmed out But one thing that Annie DID teach Helen in this period was how to read and write This was done not only via Braille, but also with a form of block printing, and with type like wooden blocks and later, Helen learned to use a typewriter Helen s first letters were as crude and inept as most of her age mates But she very soon mastered the smooth literary style that made her so skilled at communicating.The main problem with this play is that it leaves Helen frozen in time as the electrified child Helen Keller turned seven in 1887, and she didn t die until 1968, a few weeks before her 88th birthday She wrote the classic Story of My Life to help pay for her college education She was quite renowned in her childhood she was friends with Mark Twain, who died in 1911 , but her life didn t end with her childhood One measure of how little the real woman was known is that people either never knew, or forget, that the adult Helen was a co founder of the ACLU Helen Keller was never in her life the angel on the hearth of Victorian fantasies She didn t stop being strong willed when she learned to communicate frustration didn t make her stubborn rather stubbornness made her frustrated, since she wouldn t give up, and couldn t succeed Mastering language help alleviate the frustration, but not the obstinacy In her later life, Keller became a fairly well known advocate of radical causes but this fact is often ignored in stories about her A postscript added to the play might not go amiss or an introduction with further information I m pretty sure the edition I read which I don t think was this one didn t have this sort of biographical information


  9. Lori Lori says:

    I read this years ago I have always been interested in Helen Keller s life I find her to be a remarkable lady The Miracle Worker is a play a well known one that still has productions today it is about Helen when she is six years old blind and deaf and acts like a wild child Annie Sullivan is hired to teach her over the month she tries to teach Helen language throughfinger spelling Helen must also learn manners and to behave in aacceptable way a tall order for Annie Sullivan wh I read this years ago I have always been interested in Helen Keller s life I find her to be a remarkable lady The Miracle Worker is a play a well known one that still has productions today it is about Helen when she is six years old blind and deaf and acts like a wild child Annie Sullivan is hired to teach her over the month she tries to teach Helen language throughfinger spelling Helen must also learn manners and to behave in aacceptable way a tall order for Annie Sullivan who has had many eye surgeries to have sight this is a wonderful play and the fact that it is based on real life people and facts from their lives it is a wonderful book I have seen the miracle worker on stage and the wonderful movie version with Patty Duke and Ann Bancroft reprising their stage roles a very good play if anyone finds Helen Keller s and her teacher Annie Sullivan life this is a great play


  10. Esther | lifebyesther Esther | lifebyesther says:

    GENERAL focuses on Anne Sullivan and her early efforts in educating Helen Keller encouraged me to add Keller s autobiography to my tbrLIKES extremely moving, extremely powerful the added part about Keller s half brother, James, was interesting I wasn t expecting that Similarly, the part about Sullivan s brother, Jimmie, was extremely moving and artfully set up.DISLIKES the story was the compelling aspect, not the writing I wish the pacing had been different The whole narrative was GENERAL focuses on Anne Sullivan and her early efforts in educating Helen Keller encouraged me to add Keller s autobiography to my tbrLIKES extremely moving, extremely powerful the added part about Keller s half brother, James, was interesting I wasn t expecting that Similarly, the part about Sullivan s brother, Jimmie, was extremely moving and artfully set up.DISLIKES the story was the compelling aspect, not the writing I wish the pacing had been different The whole narrative was moving towards one singular moment, and after that moment happened, the play abruptly ended I also wish there wasabout James He was so angry throughout the whole play, and provided such a different perspective than the other characters I wish they had focused in on him