From the beginning Keller creates a confidential bond with the reader. Tentatively admitting her initial fear and insecurity, Keller states, “I have, as it were, a superstitious hesitation in lifting the veil that clings about my childhood like a golden mist.” Gaining confidence, Keller strengthens her voice as she gives an overview of her family’s history and life before her illness. She immerses herself in the events of her childhood and refrains from expressing the difficulty of recounting her experiences. Although Keller refrains from expressing these emotions, she continues to engage the reader as she vividly recounts the pain, confusion, and frustration that haunted her as a child.
As Keller recounts the sense of loss and urgency that provoked her so deviously, the strength and passion of her writing style unfolds. Although her writing style is informal, she employs figurative language and strong diction to convey her emotions. Reflecting on her desire to communicate, she writes, “I felt as if invisible hands were holding me, and I made frantic efforts to free myself. I struggled – not that struggling helped matters, but the spirit of resistance was strong within me; I generally broke down in tears and physical exhaustion.”
Keller’s urgency to communicate was eased by the arrival of her teacher, Ann Sullivan. At this point Keller’s tone changes from desperation to wonder. Keller describes herself before her education as a ship “without a compass or a sounding-line, and [with] no way of knowing how near the harbor was.” Although Sullivan could not restore Keller’s sight and sound, she gave Keller the means to understand and the “light of love.”
Following Sullivan’s arrival, Keller was exposed to the world of spelling, reading, and writing. In the spring of 1888 Sullivan and Keller traveled to the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Keller declares, “It delighted me inexpressibly to find that they knew the manual alphabet. What joy to talk with other...
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