The Day Language Came Into My Life – Helen Keller

Well, first off, I just what to point out how incredible Helen Keller is. At 18 months, she went both blind and deaf because of a disease. It is amazing how she managed to live 88 years with these disadvantages. It makes me think about how lucky most people are to be able to just see things and hear things. Imagine what life would be like and how difficult it would be if you were just blind or deaf. 

It is very interesting that when Helen Keller got the doll from the teacher, she learned how to spell words just by people spelling them on her hand. This made Helen realize that everything has a name. I also thought it was interesting how when Miss Sullivan was trying to teach Helen the difference between “water” and “mug,” she became impatient with this because she could distinguish between the two, so she broke the doll. Helen was satisfied with her teacher sweeping the doll fragments to the side because her actions of discomfort were being removed. 

It also amazed me how Helen figured out what water was. Her teacher brought her to a spout and put Helens hand under it. As water poured out of the spout, her teacher spelled water out on her other hand. Helen finally figured out what water was and she defines it as “the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand.” The reason this is so interesting is that this finally made everything that Helen touched come to life because she finally realized that everything around her has a meaning and an importance in life. I honestly can’t tell you exactly how happy this made Helen because I am neither blind nor deaf, but I bet you that this moment made her realize how much there was to life and it also made her excited for new days to come.


22 thoughts on “The Day Language Came Into My Life – Helen Keller

  1. Just as you said it amazed you about the teaching methods of Keller’s teacher I remembered in my American Sign Language class we studied the methods of Helen Keller’s learning strategy. Her teacher had to bring each item to her and spell it out for her. After being diagnosed with meningitis at 18 months old is a crucial time in life before around this time we are learning the vocabulary and speech enunciation. Keller was lucky that her parents did not allow her to be suffice with not knowing these things. Luckily she had her father, who had money, to hire these tutors until the most qualified was hired. This is a normal thing for our parents to provide us with the resources that we need in case we are not at where we need to be developmentally. Keller acted as any child not wanting to learn but ended up creating her sign language and ability so she would not be able to communicate what she wanted to portray.

  2. I agree that Helen Keller is a spectacular human being and can motivate anyone to want to learn no matter what he/she struggles with. When we sit here and complain about writing a paper, doing homework, etc., we take for granted that we know how to do all of that. When it comes to someone like Hellen Keller, she didn’t learn what anything was until she was seven years old. Not only that, but she could only learn very basic words…at first. As you mentioned Helen Keller learning that a doll was a doll by being placed in her hand, it goes hand-in-hand with us learning what a word is when we place the word in context. Everything has a meaning to it whether it be something substantial or not. Being able to understand that meaning is where the power of language comes in. As this article is titled, “The Day Language Came into My Life”-there is no day where new language doesn’t come into ones life and one must always keep his/her mind open to learning and broadening his/her language. If Helen Keller can do it-anyone can.

  3. You’re absolutely right when you say that you believe the moment Helen Keller finally realized what exactly water is made her realize how much there was to life and it also made her excited for new days to come, and I couldn’t agree more. You really expressed the emotion that you felt when you read this passage through words like “incredible,” “lucky,” and “amazing.” Each of these words helps to express how you, as a reader, felt. I, reading your thoughts, also felt the way that you did, and I can make that comparison because of the detail you go to to explain, summarize and respond to Helen Keller’s passage.

  4. I agree, Hellen Keller is truly awe-inspring. Her whole story is so motivating and makes us realize how much we take for granted. We complain all the time about school, life, work, drama, ect. Keller had to deal with the same things that we do and on top of that suffer from being blind and deaf. It is so impressive that Keller was able to learn the way she did. She easily could have given up but instead she worked harder to achieve her goal. It goes to show that if Hellen Keller can learn how to read and write, we can get through the difficult things we face in our lives.

  5. I do not know how one of could sit here and not agree with you and how spectacular Helen Keller is. She is one of the most inspiring people to ever walk this earth. She makes us realize that if she can accomplish all of those feats while being disabled by her lack of sight or hearing then what could us as fully functioning students accomplish? We sit and complain about all the work we have to do and how hard our life is when in reality, we have it made. Helen Keller went through all the things we have and she could not hear or see. It truly gives me the motivation to push through these mere problems we have and succeed and not complain about the little things we face in life and persevere.

  6. I completely agree with you that Helen Keller is an incredible and inspirational person. Reading the passage and your blog post made me grateful for the ability to hear and see. It turns out that language was the solution to getting through her problems. Language completely changed her life and made her realize that there is so much more to life than she had thought. It also amazes me that someone thought of a way to teach her that made sense to her. I wouldn’t have the first clue about how to teach words to someone who can’t see or hear.

  7. Being blind and deaf like Helen Keller must be tremendously frustrating and sometimes unthinkable. To me that is the most tragic thing that can happen to a person. Without sound and sight you miss out on life. Each sense is like and addition to life, for Helen Keller two of those were missing. I found it intriguing how Helen’s teacher taught her what water thus helping her to define it! I also found it amazing how she came to terms with her disabilities and survived eighty eight years. I can’t even imagine how it would be to not see or hear for the rest of my life.

  8. Its really weird how things that are least expected to have an effect on someone actually effect someone. Out of all things language effected Helen Keller and that is awesome! I wonder how difficult it was for her to learn these things. I could imagine that it would have been super frustrating, but she got through it despite all of the hardships.

  9. I too wonder what life is like in the shoes of a deaf or blind person. I honestly am scared of silence so I can’t imagine what a lifetime of complete and utter quietness would be like. Also for blind people, I wonder if their vision is just a thick grayish fog that makes everything undistinguishable or if it is just blackness. it is just amazing to me how someone with these problems can go through life still with a positive attitude. I can’t grasp the emotional toll it must take on those individuals as well. Helen Keller is an amazing women to be able to learn all those concepts. It amazes me how from just the sense of touch she could learn that everything had a name and purpose. I can’t even comprehend how difficult this lifestyle must have been but I admire Helen Keller for her determination and accomplishments.

  10. I completely agree with you. Helen Keller’s story is truly inspirational. Losing her sight and hearing at just 18 months, she was already faced with a huge obstacle before she could even speak. I really admire the title of this passage–“The Day Language Came into My Life.” In this brief passage, Helen describes the day she met her incredible teacher, Anne Sullivan, who introduced Helen to the idea that everything has a name, which the title sums up as the day language came into her life. I also really enjoyed Keller’s comparison of herself and a ship stuck in dense fog. Before her teacher entered her life, Helen was a ship lost at sea. But with love and a strong devotion to teaching, Anne Sullivan became the light that shone on Helen and helped her find her way. Helen Keller’s story is a great reminder that we have the potential to do anything because she managed to learn how to read and write, even though she was blind and deaf.

  11. I agree with you in that what Helen Keller accomplished was simply amazing. Most people, today, take for granted sight and hearing and don’t realize how truly blessed they are to be able to have those abilities. I believe that Helen Keller fought through adversity with these disadvantages but she didn’t want to let them define her. Her breakthrough came with the water incident and that is when she learned that all these letters people were spelling on her hands actually had meaning and were actually real things. Helen Keller’s willingness to learn should be an inspiration to all of us and I believe that if people had half the amount of will-power that this disabled woman had, than we could truly make a difference.

  12. I agree that it is amazing for people with such disorders to do such amazing things. We are so lucky and blessed to have all the abilities we have. I work with students with disabilities and it’s crazy the things they can accomplish when someone continues to push them to learn. I can relate to seeing something that once had no meaning or importance to someone become real and full of life, when I was teaching one of the students how to count from 1 to 7; it took an entire semester and he got overwhelmed sometimes but everyday he couldn’t wait to count those numbers. He didn’t want to just know meaningless symbols he wanted to know how to count out 4 apples at the store or invite 3 friends over to play, that’s what bringing things to life is about and i loved how you made a point to say that.

  13. As many people have noted, Helen Keller’s narrative shows us how language has meaning for us only as we can relate it to our lives. At the same time, Keller’s case shows us how, without language, we cannot make meaning of life. This is true even as we grow older and enter new communities. I remember entering graduate school without the background in contemporary theory that informs my field. The names and words I heard people speaking didn’t mean anything to me and I couldn’t enter the conversation. As I learned, read, and adopted some of this language, the lights came on. I saw the conversation as a participant rather than a “blind” person on the sidelines.

  14. Mastering the task of walking up and down stairs without finding yourself plunging face first can be difficult to some while they have their sight; thus, I can’t help but completely agree with your statement, “it makes me think about how lucky most people are to be able to just see things and hear things.” I feel that your demonstrations and examples from the text were very powerful, Helen being able to connect with her surroundings and realize the importance of her surrounding must have made her very happy. Helen was able to reconnect with everything around her that was taken away when she was merely eighteen months old. As for the teacher, I was in awe of her teaching methods and ability to mediate between Helen and all that was life around them. Its comforting to know that people have made it through situations such as Helen only to come out stronger than before. Nothing’s stopping us.

  15. It is hard to imagine living a life where you cannot hear anything or see anything, even more so when you unable to do both. Just think about not being able to see all of the beautiful things that the world has to show us, or even the faces of friends. Think about not being able to listen to music, the sounds of nature, or even the words that people speak. That would be a very lonely life to live, which is why Helen Keller’s story is so inspiring.

    I also agree that I found it very interesting how Helen’s teacher was able to teach words to her. Allowing her to feel certain objects like a doll or even the flow of water, and then she would continue to spell it out on Helen’s hand. It was her breakthrough moment where she finally figured out that the letters and words that were being spelled out on her hand had meaning and representing something. This took her many years to come to this moment, but she continued to fight through adversity. I also feel as if the teacher isn’t recognized nearly enough. I know that I would never have the patience nor guidance to be able to do what she did. She stuck by Helen’s side and didn’t give up. This is such an inspirational story, and I believe that it will never be forgotten.

    1. Learning the english language is hard enough, I can’t imagine the struggle of being blind and deaf. Helen Keller really overcome a huge barrier in her life and I agree that it amazes me. I like how you said the moment she realized everything had a name and meaning brought everything full circle. She not only had to learn words but associate them with objects and define them to her own understanding. It also conveys the idea that language is a privilege as well, because this opened so many doors for Keller allowing her to play a part in society. I think your opinion of Helen Keller’s piece reflects the points she was trying to convey to her audience.

  16. Like you said, Helen Keller’s story is truly amazing. Imagine the world being a big black hole. True, there are things to touch, smell, and taste but you can’t ever really know what they are. You can understand the difference in things, but those things don’t have names. Or even meaning. What a joy it would be to finally realize the names and importance of everything around you. And to be able to finally communicate!

  17. Helen Keller has been a very inspirational person to many people all around the world. Just think about not being able to see or hear anything, not being able to hear the sound of your friends and families voices, and not being able to see their faces either. While Keller’s teacher could have easily just not cared and pushed her to the side saying she wasn’t going to learn anything, she didn’t, her teacher actually accepted this challenge and was willing to do what ever it took to get Helen Keller to understand even the littlest of things like doll and water.

  18. I like the very beginning of the blog where you ask us to imagine what life would be like if we were blind and deaf. It makes you wonder how Helen Keller managed to go from a grumpy, mad child to a mature, educated adult. I think its very inspiring to read the story of Helen Keller. I still have some trouble learning the English language as an American teenager that has grown up in the United States since I was born. It is awesome that Helen Keller was rewarded with a teacher that invests all of her time in educating someone who could die any second.

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