indicate by signs
Then came a day when the chill air
portended a snowstorm.
not admitting of passage into or through
High mounds, pyramids heaped in fantastic shapes, and
impenetrable drifts lay scattered in every direction.
thrilling or invigorating
What joy! What
exhilarating madness! For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and joining hands with the winds we felt ourselves divine!
heard or perceptible by the ear
The impulse to utter
audible sounds had always been strong within me. I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat while the other hand felt the movements of my lips.
requiring attention or action
My friends say that I laughed and cried naturally, and for awhile I made many sounds and word-elements, not because they were a means of communication, but because the need of exercising my vocal organs was
the feeling of being displeased and discontent
I had known for a long time that the people about me used a method of communication different from mine; and even before I knew that a deaf child could be taught to speak, I was conscious of
dissatisfaction with the means of communication I already possessed.
the state of being physically limited
One who is entirely dependent upon the manual alphabet has always a sense of
restraint, of narrowness.
an inclination to do something
My thoughts would often rise and beat up like birds against the wind, and I persisted in using my lips and voice. Friends tried to discourage this
tendency, fearing lest it would lead to disappointment.
something that is desirable, favorable, or beneficial
It is an unspeakable
boon to me to be able to speak in winged words that need no interpretation.
But for Miss Sullivan's genius, untiring
perseverance and devotion, I could not have progressed as far as I have toward natural speech.
speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
In the first place, I laboured night and day before I could be understood even by my most intimate friends; in the second place, I needed Miss Sullivan's assistance constantly in my efforts to
articulate each sound clearly and to combine all sounds in a thousand ways.
come to terms with
All teachers of the deaf know what this means, and only they can at all appreciate the peculiar difficulties with which I had to
temporary loss of strength and energy from hard work
weariness cast me down frequently; but the next moment the thought that I should soon be at home and show my loved ones what I had accomplished, spurred me on, and I eagerly looked forward to their pleasure in my achievement.
feeling great rapture or delight
I used to repeat
ecstatically, "I am not dumb now."
without or almost without hope
I could not be
despondent while I anticipated the delight of talking to my mother and reading her responses from her lips.
be a hindrance or obstacle to
I place my hand on the hand of the speaker so lightly as not to
impede its movements.
a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else
The two stories were so much alike in thought and language that it was evident Miss Canby's story had been read to me, and that mine was—a
weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
How well I remember the graceful draperies that enfolded me, the bright autumn leaves that wreathed my head, and the fruit and grain at my feet and in my hands, and beneath all the piety of the masque the
oppressive sense of coming ill that made my heart heavy.
with intention; in an intentional manner
He believed, or at least suspected, that Miss Sullivan and I had
deliberately stolen the bright thoughts of another and imposed them on him to win his admiration.
a gentle affectionate stroking
Even the consciousness that it was only a dreadful mistake did not lessen my suffering, and when at last I was allowed to leave the room, I was dazed and did not notice my teacher's
caresses, or the tender words of my friends, who said I was a brave little girl and they were proud of me.
the state of being shut out
When Miss Sullivan came back, I did not speak to her about "The Frost Fairies," probably because she began at once to read "Little Lord Fauntleroy," which filled my mind to the
exclusion of everything else.
a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
Miss Canby herself wrote kindly, "Some day you will write a great story out of your own head, that will be a comfort and help to many." But this kind
prophecy has never been fulfilled.
Had it not been for the
persistent encouragement of Miss Sullivan, I think I should have given up trying to write altogether.
infuse or fill completely
At the time I was writing "The Frost King," and this letter, like many others, contains phrases which show that my mind was
saturated with the story.
take up mentally
This habit of
assimilating what pleased me and giving it out again as my own appears in much of my early correspondence and my first attempts at writing.
completely wanting or lacking
Yet I cannot think that because I did not originate the ideas, my little composition is therefore quite
devoid of interest.
threatening evil or danger
But, however the case may have been, with whichever side he may have cast his vote, when I went into the room where Mr. Anagnos had so often held me on his knee and, forgetting his many cares, had shared in my frolics, and found there persons who seemed to doubt me, I felt that there was something hostile and
menacing in the very atmosphere, and subsequent events have borne out this impression.
characterized by extreme care and great effort
I was still excessively
scrupulous about everything I wrote.
make suffer emotionally or mentally
The thought that what I wrote might not be absolutely my own
feelings of anxiety that make you tense and irritable
An impish fear clutched my hand, so that I could not write any more that day. And even now I sometimes feel the same uneasiness and
showing firm determination or purpose
I wrote timidly, fearfully, but
resolutely, urged on by my teacher, who knew that if I persevered, I should find my mental foothold again and get a grip on my faculties.
clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
They are always asking: "What does this beauty or that music mean to you? You cannot see the waves rolling up the beach or hear their roar. What do they mean to you?" In the most
evident sense they mean everything.
come to understand
fathom or define their meaning any more than I can
fathom or define love or religion or goodness.
I had been on a man-of-war before, in Boston, and it interested me to see, on this Viking ship, how the seaman was once all in all—how he sailed and took storm and calm alike with
undaunted heart, and gave chase to whosoever reechoed his cry, "We are of the sea!" and fought with brains and sinews, self-reliant, self-sufficient, instead of being thrust into the background by unintelligent machinery, as Jack is to-day.
impossible to fulfill, appease, or gratify
Mr. Higinbotham, President of the World's Fair, kindly gave me permission to touch the exhibits, and with an eagerness as
insatiable as that with which Pizarro seized the treasures of Peru, I took in the glories of the Fair with my fingers.
a complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes
It was a sort of tangible
kaleidoscope, this white city of the West.
an antiquity that has survived from the distant past
We also visited the anthropological department, and I was much interested in the
relics of ancient Mexico, in the rude stone implements that are so often the only record of an age—the simple monuments of nature's unlettered children (so I thought as I fingered them) that seem bound to last while the memorials of kings and sages crumble in dust away—and in the Egyptian mummies, which I shrank from touching.
marked by lack of definite plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
Before October, 1893, I had studied various subjects by myself in a more or less
large in number, amount, extent, or degree
I also gave
considerable time to the improvement of my speech.
vary the pitch of one's speech
I read aloud to Miss Sullivan and recited passages from my favourite poets, which I had committed to memory; she corrected my pronunciation and helped me to phrase and
tending to vanish like vapor
There is nothing more beautiful, I think, than the
evanescent fleeting images and sentiments presented by a language one is just becoming familiar with—ideas that flit across the mental sky, shaped and tinted by capricious fancy.
When I was not guessing, I was jumping at conclusions, and this fault, in addition to my dullness,
aggravated my difficulties more than was right or necessary.
suitable to your needs
I remember especially the walks we all took together every day in Central Park, the only part of the city that was
congenial to me.
not undesirably noticeable
He, who made every one happy in a beautiful,
unobtrusive way, was most kind and tender to Miss Sullivan and me.
filled with or attended with
So long as we felt his loving presence and knew that he took a watchful interest in our work,
fraught with so many difficulties, we could not be discouraged.