Janene's Reviews > The Story of My Life

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
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's review
Jul 08, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, non-fiction
Read from April 14 to May 28, 2017

Interesting in terms of a look into something beyond Helen's first moments of human connection.  This is her story, all in her own words, up to her young adulthood.  A portion of her letters are also included, the first of which were honestly tough to get through because it was all childlike small talk.  :)  Obviously, the content improved significantly as she aged. 

Two things learned:  How well-off her family must have been to afford her full time teacher Anne Sullivan as well as many travels and enriching learning opportunities.  How eager she was from a very young age to use her influence to help other children experiencing similar limitations.

Favorite passages:
My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her.  How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell.  I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers.  All the best of me belongs to her -- there is not a talent, or an inspiration or a joy in me that has not awakened by her loving touch. (28)
Sometimes, it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist as I sit alone and wait at life's shut gate.  Beyond there is light, and music, and sweet companionship; but I may not enter.  Fate, silent, pitiless, bars the way.  Fain would I question his imperious decree; for my heart is still undisciplined and passionate; but my tongue will not utter the bitter, futile words that rise to my lips, and they fall back into my heart like unshed tears.  Silence sits immense upon my soul.  Then comes hope with a smile and whispers, "There is joy in self-forgetfulness." So I try to make the light in others' eyes my sun, the music in others' ears my symphony, the smile on others' lips my happiness. (98-99)
I see the folly of attempting to hitch one's wagon to a star with harness that does not belong to it. (219)

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Reading Progress

04/14 marked as: to-read
04/14 marked as: currently-reading
07/08 marked as: read

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