The story was about Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller’s wonderfulteacher. I had never heard of Anne before I read this book, but while lookingin the library my mom explained to me who she was and she seemed like she wouldbe an interesting person to do it on. I was right. Anne Sullivan Macy was born on April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills,Massachusetts.
At the age of nine she was taken to the outskirts of Tewksbury,Massachusetts with her three year old brother Jimmie. There, they were sent tothe Massachusetts State Infirmary. Not because they were mentally sick oranything, but because they had nowhere else to go. Their mother had died of tuberculosis and their father had left them.
None of their relatives wanted them because Annie was nearly blind and Jimmiehad something wrong with his hip and had to walk with a crutch. Annie’s oneyear old sister was taken right away by her aunt and uncle because she wasdarling. Nobody knew where to send them so that’s how she ended up at theinfirmary. A few months after they had arrived, Jimmie got deathly ill.
The doctor’s couldn’t do anything for him and unfortunately he past away. Annie took thisunbelievably hard for she had realized that Jimmie was the only thing she hadever loved. Annie’s attitude then worsened even more because she felt she hadnothing left. She would throw hissy fits at the nurses and kick and scream.
Believe it or not, this is one of the character traits that I most admire aboutMiss Macy. She was aggressive and didn’t let anyone tell her what to do. Eventhough she could hardly see, she lived her own life in her own little world. Another trait that I admire about her is that she was a dreamer.
I knowI am a big dreamer and can get lost in my thoughts sometimes, but her dreamsweren’t like mine. Annie dreamt of being able to see, but most often dreamt ofgoing to school. Annie wanted to learn but had no one to teach her. One day, about a year after Jimmie’s death, the State Board of Charitiescame by to look around.
Annie was so excited because she heard they might beable to send her to school. When they were leaving she jumped in front of themand yelled out that she wanted to go to school. The men asked her what waswrong with her and she explained to them that she was nearly blind. A few days later, after Annie thought she had blown her chance of evergoing to school, a girl from the ward came saying that Annie was to go to school.
Annie was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to go. This is the first major event thatI think led to Annie’s success. The day finally came and Annie arrived at the Perkins Institution forthe Blind in South Boston around noon. She didn’t like it at first but laterbecame quite popular.
While the other girls stayed in nice cottages, Anniestayed in an old cottage with fifty year old Laura Bridgman. Laura was blind,deaf, and dumb. Laura Bridgman had gone to that school forty some years earlier and wastaught the manual alphabet. This is where you communicate by spelling words oneach other’s palms and then feel an object to know that the word spelled is theword felt. Annie was simply fascinated with this way of communicating that shelearned the manual alphabet. That’s why I think Laura was the person who had thegreatest influence on Annie.
Annie would spend hours talking with Laura. Shewould tell Laura what was going on in school and things around them and Laurawould share her thoughts and feelings back to Annie. Annie was good in school and her teachers saw that. She had a hard timewith Braille but after a lot of hard work, she got it. I think that is anotheradmirable trait about Annie. Her eagerness and willingness to learn.
aneducation was what she wanted all her life and her dream finally came true. After she learned Braille, Annie would search the library for books. She lovedto read. Summer quickly came and all the girls, even Laura, left for home.
Theteachers refused to send Annie back to Tewksbury so one of them was able to findher a job doing little work at a rooming house. One of the roomers, a young man, really took to Annie and felt sorry forher. One day he told her that he thought he knew of someone who could help hereyes. Annie agreed to go see Dr. Bradford at the Carney Catholic Hospital. Heinsisted on operating even though she explained to him that she had already hadtwo unsuccessful operations.
He convinced her and started work later thatsummer. He first cut away the scabs on the insides of her eyelids. This wouldstop the scabs from scratching her eyeballs. He said that he would treat herfor a few months and then in a year operate again. A year passed and Annie, now sixteen, was back. Dr.
Bradford felt goodand hopeful that the operation would be successful. After many days of beingbandaged up, the bandages were removed. Afraid to open her eyes, Annie finallydid and was able to see. Not one hundred percent mind you, but she could seedetail and the doctor was smiling. Being able to see is another thing I thinkthat led up to Annie’s success. Now that Annie could see she had no reason to go back to school.
Shehad nowhere to go, so the teachers let her stay and help with the younger kids. She still attended classes and became so popular that she was votedValedictorian in her sixth and final year of school. The day was so special, but all Annie could think about was what shewould do after school. Annie had no idea what she wanted, but a couple ofteachers said that they might be able to find her a job.
Annie didn’t want tothink about it so left for the summer. During a summer day, a letter came for Annie. It was from her principalasking her to read the enclosed letter. The letter was from a man from Alabamaasking the Perkins Institute if they could recommend a good teacher for his sixyear old daughter.
She was deaf, blind, and dumb, her name was Helen Keller. Twenty year old Annie decided to go. On March 5, 1887 Annie headed outto Alabama. This, I think would have to be the third event that led up to Annie’s success. At first Annie thought she could get through to Helen, but later foundthat it wouldn’t be that easy. Helen was a dangerous child, like an animal, butwhat do you expect if you can’t hear or see? After a few days Annie tried toget through to her by being gentle, but during one of Helen’s rages she knockedout Annie’s two front teeth.
Annie decided to take the initiative and tried disciplining Helen. Something of which her parents never did. She thought it would be best if shecould be alone with Helen so they moved into their own little cottage a fewminutes away from Helen’s parents. Annie started teaching Helen the manual alphabet that she had learnedfrom Laura Bridgman.
Helen was able spell things back, but still they had nomeaning to her. About a month after Annie’s arrival, Helen finally figured outthat the word Annie was spelling was the word of the object she held in her hand. Soon after this Helen starting writing in Braille. A lot of it didn’t makesense, but as she was learning sentences it got better. After about a year of working with Helen, Annie decided to take her toBoston.
They didn’t spend long there, but Helen soon became a celebrity. Everyone was interested in Helen, who wouldn’t be?During their long time of fame, Helen and Annie met a lot of neat,interesting people including a very nice young man named John Macy. He workedfor a magazine and was one of the greatest supporters Helen and Annie ever had. When Helen grew up, John decided that he would ask Annie to marry him. Annie atfirst wasn’t sure because he was eleven years younger than her. She finallysaid yes and they were married on May 2, 1905.
Annie was now thirty-nine andJohn was twenty-eight. The marriage only lasted eight years before John decided to sail toEurope. It wasn’t a divorce, but more of a separation. Annie knew that shecould count on him if she needed anything, so it wasn’t like they hated eachother, it just didn’t work out. Annie and Helen spent the rest of their lives together touring theUnited States and parts of Canada, talking to people and doing presentations. Annie off and on during these years, got sick.
Sometimes really bad andsometimes just little colds. On October 19, 1936, it was different. A coupleof days before, Annie had seemed happy and was laughing and smiling just likeher old self. On that night though, she slipped into a coma and never woke upagain. She had quietly past away, but lived a good, long life of seventy years. Helen was fifty-six.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it toanyone who likes an interesting true story. The book taught me a lot about theblind and deaf and how they cope with their unfortunate handicap. It taught methat even though you might have a handicap nothing is impossible. As long asyou put your mind to it you can do anything.
Anyone who likes an inspirationalnovel would love this book.Category: Science