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The Miracle Worker

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  23,992 ratings  ·  242 reviews
NO ONE COULD REACH HER

Twelve-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,
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Pocket Books (first published 1956)
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Community Reviews

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Meg
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 ...more
Lori
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 a more acceptable way. a tall order for Annie Sullivan wh ...more
Patricia
Sep 25, 2008 Patricia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Patricia by: probably a librarian
if annie sullivan and helen keller can do what they did.....well, stop complaining.
Slayermel
This is the story of Helen Keller who was born a healthy little girl, but after falling ill with a childhood ailment she becomes Blind, Deaf and Mute. I found the story very touching, especially as someone who works with children. The Keller family hires Annie Sullivan to come and help teach Helen, and they are surprised to find Annie herself suffered from Blindness and is only 20 years old. Annie had her work cut out for her as Helen had been so spoiled and lacked all forms of discipline as the ...more
Richard
This play brings back a lot of memories for me. I acted in a production of it in high school. I played a bit part, spoke a single line, and was on stage for one scene. But it was a big thrill to be involved in it, and gave me a love of acting which persists to this day.
J.M. Slowik
Basically flawless. Touching drama-- pun intended-- with a profound message about the power of language. I admit I got a little choked up at the end.

If you haven't seen or read this yet... what are you waiting for?
Valerie
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
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Clinton

The Miracle Worker was one of those plays intended to reach out to the readers' hearts. The story is of Helen Keller, one of the most iconic figures throughout the world, and her struggle with Annie Sullivan to gain understanding of the world around her.

It portrays a crude glimpse at what Helen's life, and the life of those around her, had in store. Crafted from historical fiction, The Miracle Worker shows how each relation to Helen was "broken" in some way, and how Helen seemed to be the center

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Christina Singh
One of the best plays I've ever read. Very emotional and well played out. The scenes were very detailed so it was easy to follow. The story of Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan is truly amazing and inspirational. Reading this play makes me want to see it performed live more than anything.
Hannah bubana S.713
So I'm performing this play, and one day I just sat down and read this book cover to cover. WOW. It's such an elegant, witty, heart breaking show. So many interesting characters, every word of dialouge spoken in this play has a good reason behind it. One of the best plays ever written, although I haven't read many plays, so don't trust my judgement on the best plays ever. But I'm pretty sure that's what any playwrite would say it was one of the best American plays anyway. It's interesting readin ...more
Maureen
I don't know why I'm just getting around to listing this on Good Reads and setting out a mini-review, but alas.

This is my third or fourth go-round with William Gibson's The Miracle Worker. I'll be directing it this fall at my school, and so with any play comes the inevitable multiple-readings; this weekend was my "Design Read," where my focus is redirected from the character, plot, language, and meaning of the show to the practical needs and abstract ideas for a production (where does this tabl
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Gabrielle
So I read this book for school, and I absolutely despise reading books for school because of testing and comprehension questions and many a period spent dissecting the book. But I'm writing this review before we actually talk about it in class, because I just finished the book and I loved it. I do not want it to be ruined by the hours that will be spent eyeing it way to close, so I am saying it now.

The scenery and the ideas portrayed were amazing. I loved how easily I could understand the time
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Lola
I have seen the movie version of this play, and the play wasn't that different. I always find it a little difficult to read plays, but I liked this one. My only problem is that it ends at Helen and Anne at the pump and how Helen learns that words have meaning. I would've liked it to be extended a little bit longer. I'd recommend the movie if you don't like reading plays.
Jeannette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Meade
I think it would be hard in this day and age to find three adults who could agree to actual discipline like Annie, Kate and the Captain basically had to in this story (and presumably in real life) to ultimately free Helen from her 'cage'.
Mary Kate
I feel wary of giving this three stars, because usually three stars meant that there was something I disliked about the book. There was nothing I really disliked about this book. It just wasn't anything special. It felt shallow to me, though pleasant. Annie was delightfully spunky. Kate and Keller were clearly loving parents and good people. There were a few very interesting comparisons made in this book (Annie is likened to a Civil War General, especially). But on the whole, it was rather ordin ...more
Tessa
this book was..... pretty good. but not the gratest. You definetly got the story though of Helen Keller. The book is writen as a play but has some real charecter.
Teya
I liked it more than I expected. We had to read it for school, but I ended up reading ahead of my class to finish over the weekend.
Jessica
A powerful play about Annie Sullivan's dedication to helping Helen Keller learn to break out of her silence by teaching her a way to communicate. At times I didn't always understand the various subtexts in the other characters' conversations, particularly the jabs between Captain Keller and his son, but that wasn't necessary to grasping the main plot line and message about how coddling a child can mean treating her like less than she is. This has made me interested in reading some of Helen Kelle ...more
Marcele
Annie is a great character, but overall I din't get invested that much on the story.
Tmimhoff
I really like this book. I really loved the ending, it was precious!!!
Jenevieve
Check out all my reviews on My Blog

The play based on the meeting of Annie Sullivan and the wild child, Helen Keller. I read books about Helen Keller when I was younger and knew the basic story but reading the play was a treat and I plan on watching the movie once the teenager reads it for his book club as well so we can enjoy it together. Simply but powerfully done from the stubbornness of Annie who is determined that this girl should learn and use the mind she clearly has to the desperation of
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E E
i dont like this book
Katie Rodemich
It's a classic!
Katie
I very vaguely remember reading this play and watching the movie in elementary school, and recently I rediscovered the movie, and loved it. It brought me to tears! I became very interested in Helen Keller's story, and I knew I had to reread this book! It was a very quick read - I read it in a day! This play is definitely worth the time. It tells the astounding story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, who comes to release Helen from her prison of sorts, by learning language. It's not ...more
Misting
I admire Helen Keller tremendously; blind and deaf, I can't even imagine being without those senses. I can't even fathom how much willpower it took her to learn the things she did, and how much Annie was able to teach.

But I rated it 2 stars because I didn't really like the writing. The entire play just seemed to be teetering between fiction and fact, and it made the overall feel pretty awkward.

I felt as if the authors were hesitant to make it too unbelievable because they didn't want to take aw
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Kannonhall
As a student I was always taught that Helen Keller was a miracle, an intellectual, and an inspiration. I never put thought into how she overcame her disabilities. I assumed that she just independently became educated. After reading "The Miracle Worker" by William Gibson my eyes were opened to how difficult not only Helen's childhood was, but how difficult it was for the people around her to raise her. This book introduces us to possibly the most influential person in Helen's life, Anne Sulivan. ...more
Dc Burney


THE MIRACLE WORKER

I’ve recently read the play The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. It creates many strong images and moments.

The Miracle Worker is about Helen Keller, a girl born both deaf and blind. The character Annie is hired to teach Helen. Annie teaches her a language by tapping symbols on each others hands. At first the chance that Helen will understand seems impossible and no one believes that Helen will do anything significant in her life. When she finally understands this new form of
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Ariana S.
Helen Keller was born in Alabama in 1880. At 19 months old, she contracted a serious illness and became blind and deaf. She did not learn to speak because of her deafness. She struggled through life until Annie Sullivan, half blind herself, came to the rescue. Through a "finger game", which is actually a type of sign language, Annie Sullivan taught Helen Keller that everything has a name, and that every name has a meaning. Although it took weeks of teaching, Helen Keller finally understood this ...more
Eliza Malakoff
CONNECTION: "The Miracle Worker" to "What Haunts Me"

It was interesting reading "The Miracle Worker" at the same time as I've been working on blocking my own one act, "What Haunts Me." Both plays are abstract and travel through time and space fluidly. As I've been trying to figure out how to cue the audience in transitions from the present to the past and block it smoothly, it struck me how smoothly "The Miracle Worker" does. It shifts from a train, to the Keller household, to the front yard, and
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Gibson was a Tony Award-winning American playwright and novelist. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1938.

Gibson's most famous play is The Miracle Worker (1959), the story of Helen Keller's childhood education, which won him the Tony Award for Best Pla
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More about William Gibson...
Two for the Seesaw A Mass for the Dead Shakespeare's Game Monday After the Miracle: A Play in Three Acts A Cry of Players

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“She's right, Kate's right, I'm right and you're wrong. If you drive her away from here it will be over my dead— chair, has it never occurred to you at on one occasion you might be consummately wrong?” 3 likes
“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” 1 likes
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