The Miracle Worker


Miracle Worker Essay


Due 2/9/04


One of the most amazing people to ever live was Helen Keller. There is probably no one else who better shows perseverance. Helen Keller did great things in spite of her disabilities. Some of her greatest attributes involved writing books and famous quotes. One of her most famous quotes is, “We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough.”


When Helen Keller was little, she acquired an illness that likely was Scarlet Fever. This illness left her blind, deaf, and mute. The Kellers hired a young woman named Annie Sullivan to try to help Helen. Annie lived with the Kellers for many years and eventually taught Helen to communicate using sign language. This was a major accomplishment because of Helen’s inability to see or hear. The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan became a Broadway play entitled “The Miracle Worker” and received a Pulitzer Prize. Helen’s quote, “We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough” is easily seen in the play as Helen’s determination to learn and Annie’s determination to teach is acted out. Helen was also taught to read in Braille and write using a Braille typewriter, and eventually graduated from Radcliffe College. She was the first deaf/blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating on June 28, 1904. Helen went on to write many books including, The Story of My Life, Out of the Dark, and Let Us Have Faith. Helen Keller also went on to tour the world with Annie Sullivan, speaking for the American Foundation for the Blind.


Helen Keller’s quote means a lot to me. First, it shows how determination to do well often provides success. Although there were many factors that hindered Helen’s learning ability, she stayed with it and didn’t give up. There must have been many times when Helen became frustrated because she didn’t understand the meaning of words. However her determination would not allow herself to quit trying. Another meaning that can be seen in to this quote is that one does not have to have greater abilities than others to accomplish great things. For example, there are many people who end up dropping out of school because of their lack of determination. Even people with disabilities like Helen’s can achieve their goals.


There are also many ways in which this quote relates to me. One is that I shouldn’t take for granted my God given abilities. Look at what Helen Keller accomplished simply because of determination, with no ability to see or hear. Her quote causes me to be thankful, especially for my physical abilities, which I often take for granted. There are many people with disabilities who have accomplished greater things than those without them.


Another way the quote relates to me is by encouraging me to be persistent in achieving my goals. When I am practicing sports, I can use this to push myself and make myself keep going. I know that if I “stick to it” then I can achieve my goals. There are many professional athletes who use this principal. The same principal can apply in doing school work. When studying for test I can this to keep me going. Helen’s examples show me that I especially should be able to achieve my goals.


There are few examples better for providing a great example of determination than Helen Keller. She definitely earned the right to make a statement encouraging others to “stick to it” because of her lifelong example of diligence. Helen Keller will always be respected for the difference she made, not only in the lives of those she came in contact with, but also those today and for generations to come who will continue to be inspired by her great life.