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Helen Keller - "A Symbol of Triumph over Adversity"

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Helen Keller - "A Symbol of Triumph over Adversity"

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  • December 29, 2012
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Helen Keller – “a symbol of triumph over adversity”

“No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is,
he feels that happiness is his indisputable right” (Helen Keller)

Helen Keller - a name maybe not known or heard by so many people, but one that engraved itself and stayed in the disabled persons’ minds and not only, forever. Not only that she became known in the United States of America, but she succeeded in writing many books and “speaking” to others with the help of her instructor or companion. She motivated several people in the same condition and had great influence, being of course admired for her way of overcoming her handicaps.

“<<The beginning of my life was simple and much like every other little life>>, Helen wrote. <<I came, I saw, I conquered, as the first baby in the family always does>>” (Sullivan, 2000:11).

Helen Adams Keller was born in Tuscumbia, a village in Alabama on June 27, 1880. She was Kate and Arthur Keller’s first child. Her father “had been a captain in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Afterwards, he owned a large plantation on which cotton was grown. He also owned a weekly newspaper” (2000:11). Her mother (twenty years younger than her husband, who was 42) was a housewife, as she helped run the farm, cooked, sewed etc. They were happily living in a house covered with ivy (it was named “Ivy Green”) and surrounded by huge trees, as Sullivan relates.

Helen appeared to be an intelligent and beautiful child. “It was said that at the age of six months she could say <<How d’ye>> and <<tea tea tea>>” (2000:13) and at the same time she learned the meaning of water which she pronounced “wah-wah”. When she was one year old, exactly on her birthday, she took her first steps. Her parents were very happy, and no one would have ever guessed by then that this little eager child would become sick and damaged forever.

As time passed, little Helen reached 19 months, in...