The Story of My Life

The Story of My Life Study Guide

The Story of My Life is Helen Keller's autobiography, written during her time at Radcliffe College and published when she was 22 years old. It details her life from birth to age 21, beginning with an account of her family's home in Alabama and the illness that left her blind and deaf. Much of the book focuses on Helen's education, which began when Anne Sullivan, a teacher, moved into her home to instruct her in different means of communication. First, she spelled letters into Helen's hand to help her learn the names of various objects in her world. This slowly progressed to Helen's learning to speak and read braille, and ultimately her communication became strong enough to allow her to attend college with individuals who could see and hear.

This autobiography is separated into three parts. The first is a chronological account of Helen's life up to age 21, written in first-person. It covers all of her major life events, including vacations around the country and the various schools she attended, but also includes many of her thoughts and musings on the things that have happened to her. The second part of the book is a large collection of letters Helen wrote over the course of her life, showing significant development in her communication abilities as time goes on. This part also includes letters from Anne Sullivan, explaining certain parts of Helen's education that do not come across in her first-person account. The final part is commentary by the book's editor, with advice from Miss Sullivan, remarking on various parts of Helen's life experience as detailed in this autobiography.

The Story of My Life has received much recognition, and has been adapted into multiple plays and movies since the mid-20th century. The most famous of these is the 1962 Hollywood feature film The Miracle Worker, a biographical film about Anne Sullivan and her success in tutoring Helen Keller.