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Helen Keller

The inspiring story of Helen Keller’s triumph over blindness and deafness

4.5 (51 ratings)
10 mins

Brief summary

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller is a poignant autobiography that tells the story of a young, deaf-blind girl who overcomes incredible challenges and becomes an inspiration to millions.

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    The Story of My Life
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    Since she was a baby, Helen Keller was both blind and deaf.

    Born in 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen Keller would grow up to lead an incredible life that no one had thought possible.

    She was just 19 months old when she was struck with a horrible fever.

    Keller had started to walk and talk and showed signs of being a fast learner before the illness developed. But when she lost her sight and hearing due to her illness, she had to learn how to communicate by other means.

    Basic signals and actions such as nodding her head for yes and shaking it for no allowed her to express herself to others. Fortunately, Keller’s mother helped ensure that her daughter understood what was being asked of her, and, at the age of five, Helen was already partaking in daily activities such as folding and putting away the laundry.

    You can imagine, however, that growing up deaf and blind can lead to incredible frustration, and understandably, Keller wasn’t always the most well-behaved child. She would erupt into fits of rage when unable to express what she wanted. And when something didn’t go the way she desired, the consequences were sometimes disastrous.

    One day she decided to throw an apron into the fire because it wasn’t drying quickly enough. She set herself on fire as a result, though thankfully her injuries weren’t too severe.

    Keller also acted out in other ways, like when she locked her mother up in the pantry for three hours and refused to let anyone know the whereabouts of the key.

    It was at this point that her parents realized she needed to be educated. Yet the difficulty of finding someone qualified in educating a young blind and deaf girl was considerable.

    But as we will find out, the right teacher did come along – one who would change her life forever.

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    What is The Story of My Life about?

    The Story of My Life (1903) chronicles the early years of Helen Keller, a young woman who became both deaf and blind at a young age. The book explores the challenges she faced growing up as a child with disabilities, and introduces the amazing people who helped her along the way.

    The Story of My Life Review

    The Story of My Life (1903) by Helen Keller is a poignant memoir that must be read. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Through her remarkable perseverance and indomitable spirit, Keller's story shows the power of determination to overcome the greatest challenges.
    • Showcasing a unique perspective, the book gives readers an insight into the world of a deaf-blind person and offers a profound understanding of the human experience.
    • Keller's exceptional intellect and her ability to communicate despite her disabilities make the book an extraordinary testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

    Best quote from The Story of My Life

    As I talked, happy thoughts fluttered up out of my words that might perhaps have struggled in vain to escape my fingers.

    —Helen Keller
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    Who should read The Story of My Life?

    • People looking to be inspired
    • Students with disabilities
    • People who interact with anyone with special needs

    About the Author

    Helen Keller (1880–1968) was an American author, speaker and political activist who was part of the women’s suffrage movement and spoke up for the working classes as a member of the Socialist Party. She devoted her life to helping others. She also helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.

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    The Story of My Life FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Story of My Life?

    The main message of The Story of My Life is the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity.

    How long does it take to read The Story of My Life?

    The reading time for The Story of My Life varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Story of My Life a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Story of My Life is an inspiring read, offering a unique perspective on resilience and triumph. Highly recommended!

    Who is the author of The Story of My Life?

    The author of The Story of My Life is Helen Keller.

    What to read after The Story of My Life?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Story of My Life, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley
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    • A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
    • The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King
    • The First Rule of Mastery by Michael Gervais
    • The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
    • Visual Thinking by Temple Grandin
    • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
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