Summary of chapter 21 22 23
of story of my life

Asked by Prafull Tiwary | 25th Mar, 2017, 03:42: PM

Expert Answer:

Chapter 21 

In this chapter, Helen Keller goes back to tell readers about her initial experiences with reading. Helen first read when I was seven years old. That was her first connected story in May 1887. There were only a few books in raised print, which Helen read repeatedly until a time when the words were so worn and pressed that she could scarcely make them out.

During her visit to Boston, she was allowed to spend a part of each day at the Institution library, and here she used to wander from bookcase to bookcase and take down whatever her “fingers lighted upon”. When she discovered the book ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy,’ Miss Sullivan read it to her and the book became Helen’s “sweet and gentle companion” throughout her childhood.

From there she read many books and she loved "Little Women" because it gave her a sense of kinship with girls and boys who could see and hear. She also loved ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Wild ‘Animals I Have Known’ as she felt a genuine interest in the animals themselves, they being “real animals and not caricatures of men”.  She was fascinated by Greek literature and it was Iliad that made Greece her “paradise”. According to her, great poetry did not need an interpreter but a responsive heart. Macbeth and King Lear impressed her most among Shakespeare’s works. She read the Bible for years “with an ever-broadening sense of joy and inspiration”. She said she loved it as she loved no other book.

Helen also expresses her love for history apart from her love for literature. The first book that gave her a real sense of the value of history was Swinton's "World's History," which she received on her thirteenth birthday. Among the French writers, she liked Molière and Racine best. Literature was Helen’s Utopia, where she faced no barrier of the senses. The things that she had learned and the things that were taught to her seemed of ridiculously little importance compared with their "large loves and heavenly charities."


Chapter 22 

Books and reading were not the only things that Helen enjoyed. When Helen was not reading, she enjoyed outdoor activities. She liked swimming, canoeing, and sailing. She also loved trees and used to feel close to them so much so that she believed she could hear their sap flow and see the sun shining on the leaves. Helen felt that each one of us had the ability to understand the impressions and the emotions experienced by mankind from the beginning. Blindness or deafness could not rob us of our memory in the subconscious about the green earth. This, she termed as the sixth sense which can see, feel and hear.   


Chapter 23

In the last chapter, Helen thanks the ones who have helped her throughout her life. She uses kind words to praise them. She also expresses her disdain for the newspaper reporters whom she calls “stupid and curious”. They were extremely unkind to her. She speaks about her understanding of religion and equates God with love. She credits Bishop Brooks for helping her grow spiritually.

Answered by Snehal Naik | 27th Mar, 2017, 09:15: AM

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