Helen Keller is the protagonist and author of this memoir, telling the story of her life up to age 22. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen was stricken with a disease that left her both deaf and blind early on in life, and she struggled to express herself until her teacher, Anne Sullivan, came to work with her when she was seven years old. From then on, Helen's life became a story of progress and success, as she constantly surmounted obstacles and became the first deaf-blind person to obtain a Bachelor's degree.
Johanna Mansfield Sullivan Macy, known as Anne Sullivan, came into Helen’s life on third of March 1887. She herself had been blind in her youth, and after her vision was partially restored, she decided to dedicate her life to teaching others like her. Through Miss Sullivan's patient teaching that was perfectly tailored to Helen's interests and needs, Helen achieved great success, the likes of which no one expected from her.
The mother of Helen Keller and Mildred Keller. She was a very caring lady who tried her best to understand Helen and taught her a lot of things. Throughout Helen's life, she was a constant advocate for her daughter, determined to find opportunities for her despite her handicaps.
Arthur H. Keller
The father of Helen and Mildred, and a captain in Confederate Army prior to his work as a newspaper editor. His family is descended from Casper Keller, a native of Switzerland, who settled in Maryland. Helen loved her father, and remarked that he was a particularly good storyteller. She also commented on his fondness for hunting. Arthur died in the summer of 1896.
The younger sister of Helen Keller. For a long time, Helen regarded her little sister as an intruder on her mother's attention. Eventually, the two developed a close relationship, though Mildred was never truly able to understand Helen's finger language. Mildred also attended the Cambridge School with Helen for six months.
The daughter of Helen's cook, Belle, and a good friend of Helen's in the early days of her illness, when few others could understand her. The two got up to great mischief and adventurous exploration of their surroundings.
Michael Anagnos was the Director of Perkins Institute for the Blind, as well as a good friend of Helen's in her early life. Her story, "The Frost King," was intended as a birthday present to him, but after it was uncovered that the story had been unwittingly plagiarized, his relationship with her was tainted.
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell
He was the inventor of the telephone and a teacher of the deaf. Helen dedicated her autobiography to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, and spent much time with him throughout her life. Dr. Bell was the one who took Helen to the World's Fair for the first time.
Mr. Arthur Gilman was the Principal of the Cambridge School for Young Ladies. He was a generous person who learned to use manual alphabet to have a conversation with Helen. He was very serious about his students and cared deeply about Helen's education, but when he reduced her course load and extended her time at the school following her illness, Helen's mother withdrew her and put her in private tutoring.
Merton S. Keith
Keith was an instructor in Cambridge who carried oversaw Helen’s preparation for Radcliffe after she withdrew from the Cambridge School. He instructed Helen in Algebra, Greek, Latin, and Geometry.
Brooks was a very joyful person in Helen's life who told her to think beyond the boundaries of caste and religion. He taught Helen that love is a universal religion.
Mr. William Endicott
A friend of Helen's who lived near Boston at Beverly Farms.
Miss Sarah Fuller
The teacher who began teaching Helen to speak by allowing her to feel the movements of her own lips and tongue. Helen took eleven lessons with Miss Fuller.
Mrs. Sophia C. Hopkins
A friend with whom Helen and Miss Sullivan stayed during their summer at Brewster. Mrs. Hopkins read many books to Helen, one of which was presumably "The Frost Fairies."
Mr. John P. Spaulding
A close friend of Helen's, who died around the same time as her father.
Mr. J.E. Chamberlin
A friend of Helen's, at whose home they stayed during their months in Wrentham, Massachusetts.
Dr. Edward Everett Hale
A close friend of Helen's, to whom she wrote letters often.
John Albert Macy
Editor of The Story of My Life, and a close friend of Miss Sullivan's and Helen's during Helen's time at Radcliffe. He was a Professor of English at Harvard.
The Story of My Life Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Story of My Life is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Child as I was, I at once felt the tenderness and sympathy which endeared Dr. Bell to so many hearts, as his wonderful achievements enlist their admiration. He held me on his knee while I examined his watch, and he made it strike...
Johanna Mansfield Sullivan Macy, known as Anne Sullivan, came into Helen’s life on third of March 1887. She herself had been blind in her youth, and after her vision was partially restored, she decided to dedicate her life to teaching others like...