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Helen Keller is rendered blind, deaf and mute by an illness and because she was a spoilt child, she goes very wild and it is only with the help of Annie Sullivan her life and the lives of those around her change. In the miracle worker, Sullivan and Keller are at the water pump refilling a water pitcher that Helen had poured on Annie Sullivan. . Sullivan spells into Keller's hand the word water and it is then that Keller makes the intellectual connection between the word Sullivan spells into her hand and the substance from the water pump so that she pronounces it as 'wah-wah' the baby talk equivalent to water . The reality of this depiction is that by uttering what she had spoken as an infant, tells us that Helen has made an intellectual breakthrough that of speech and its importance in human communication. She seems to tell us that language has a purpose.
She overcomes a tremendous handicap and grows into an intellectual. Her status as a woman changes because she transcends that which we thought could be impossible. living in a time where the rights and prospects of women were limited this story shows us the strength and power of human will and its ability to triumph over the most devastating disabilities .it was not uncommon for parents to keep such children like Helen at home and even hide them . The sense of hearing is related to communication integrally so that we need them to communicate and interact. We relate to others verbally and are the social meaning of the two senses (Bowers 2005).
Sullivan brought light to Helens dark world and opened for her the door to a life of her choice. She found her way and became an influential woman of her times. This shows us that the two senses of sight and hearing mentioned here are responsible for enabling us accomplish everyday activities and it is difficult for us to do without them. That all those with disabilities can come through too. Ann's attempts to improve Helen's behavior proved difficult at first and if it were someone else they would probably have given up .the ability of Helen to learn was astonishing and far in advance of what anybody could have seen in someone without sight and hearing especially in an era such as that where there were no aids to help in educating them. This was an innovation at communication as Sullivan used sign language and raised letters which is today's Braille to teach Helen.
It was also the innovation of sign language. It was also very easy for the people who lived during this time to reject Helen but she did what was in her power and regained that which she had lost. Her social life was restored .we all learn differently and though using the same senses, one is always stronger than the other. The two main methods of learning are through our eyes and ears so that they reinforce each other and make things to remain in our minds longer. In the view of Helen's case it is difficult to understand how she transcends the difficulties she had to become such a phenomenal woman. She is a perfect example of how powerful the will is to transcend what is difficult even in this era of science and technology. Helen used the senses she did not have of sight and hearing to understand directions, write books, and derive enjoyment. The social and cultural meaning that Helen portrays is that as she works her magic on Helen, her entire family is changed and the fact that they were not of the same place shows us this covered the social lives of these people (Nielsen 2004).
Ann Sullivan rather than using prepared labels as Helen's parents had, she uses finger spelling into the hand of Helen from the very beginning. She names constantly that which draws Helen's attention and she trusts that Helen will eventually learn through repetition and context. They used the natural world to as a learning resource and this helped them form language and its form to make meaning of their everyday activities. These techniques they used are still relevant today in deaf blind education. we can also see the way form and language interact in the way Helen connected the sensation of water running over her hand with what Sullivan was spelling in her other hand . She finally came to understand a lot of things as a result of this spelling on the palms.
The way Helen understood that every thing had a name and that there was a system of language shows us the way form and language have been used to produce meaning. We are also presented with Helen vigorously stroking the head of a shapeless towel doll frantically searching for the doll's eyes. She later plucks aunt Ev's buttons and places on her doll. This doll presents Helen and her blindness. Just as she wants the doll to see, she also wants to regain her sight. The use of symbolism presents the way form and language interacts to produce meaning. For example Helen throws the key to the room in which she had locked Sullivan in the well to symbolize that the only way to unlock her learning disabilities that barricade her from the world was through the well-water.