The Miracle Worker

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The Miracle Worker(1962) Movie Review

The Miracle Worker is the story of how one person can enter the lives of others and change them forever. It is a story with a combination of humor and seriousness, often with a touching emotional effect. Annie Sullivan(Anne Bancroft) enters the Keller’s family’s home and through her work manage to teach Helen(Patty Duke), who is deaf, mute and blind about language. At the end, all of the characters’ perceptions of the world changed, as well as her own world-view. The “miracle” that she works, not only teaches Helen language but also has direct effect on everyone’s life and the way in which they live it.

“Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye,” Annie said. She realized the significance of it because she was once blind herself and has benefitted from the language that she has learned. She tried her every resource- humor, patience, cruelty, kindness and above all perseverance - to make Helen communicate enough so that the teaching process can begin. She even locked herself and Helen in a small hut to force Helen start to communicate and depend on her as her teacher.

In the beginning, the work that Annie does with Helen is simply a matter of discipline and repetition. Because in 19th century, people who were blind were thought to be ignorant and were unable to reason or process thought. Deafness and dumbness is another disability that Helen faces. Her language development and socialization is greatly affected. However, Annie is a very stubborn woman who does not give up easily and is able to manipulate both parents into letting her have the chance to prove herself.

Annie begins to teach Helen hand symbols for different objects. The hand symbols are just a repetition game to Helen, who does not make any connection between symbol and object. Annie hopes that Helen will eventually start to connect the symbols with actual objects in her world. At last, the themes of change and transformation and...
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