freeing from false belief
Several passages of her autobiography, as it appeared in serial form, have been made the subject of a grave editorial in a Boston newspaper, in which the writer regretted Miss Keller's apparent
disillusionment in regard to the value of her college life.
characterized by perfect conformity to fact or truth
In her account of her early education Miss Keller is not giving a scientifically
accurate record of her life, nor even of the important events.
do away with
This difficulty is in part
obviated by the use of her braille machine, which makes a manuscript that she can read; but as her work must be put ultimately in typewritten form, and as a braille machine is somewhat cumbersome, she has got into the habit of writing directly on her typewriter.
no longer connected or joined
Thus she composed much of her story on the typewriter, and in constructing it as a whole depended on her memory to guide her in putting together the
detached episodes, which Miss Sullivan read over to her.
your usual mood
temperament, partly from the conditions of her work, she has written rather a series of brilliant passages than a unified narrative; in point of fact, several paragraphs of her story are short themes written in her English courses, and the small unit sometimes shows its original limits.
marked by active interest and enthusiasm
One newspaper suggested that Miss Keller had been led into writing the book and had been influenced to put certain things into it by
having life or vigor or spirit
When Miss Keller speaks, her face is
animated and expresses all the modes of her thought—the expressions that make the features eloquent and give speech half its meaning.
a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
trait most characteristic, perhaps, of Miss Keller (and also of Miss Sullivan) is humour.
naughtily or annoyingly playful
If she does not know the answer to a question, she guesses with
determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
whimsical and adventuresome spirit puts her so much on her mettle that she makes rather a poor subject for the psychological experimenter.
the state of having important effects or influence
When a psychologist asked her if Miss Keller spelled on her fingers in her sleep, Miss Sullivan replied that she did not think it worth while to sit up and watch, such matters were of so little
relating to vibrations occurring as a result of those nearby
If others are aglow with music, a responding glow, caught
sympathetically, shines in her face.
in painstaking detail
Indeed, she feels the movements of Miss Sullivan so
minutely that she responds to her moods, and so she seems to know what is going on, even though the conversation has not been spelled to her for some time.
in a machinelike manner; without feeling
She cannot sing and she cannot play the piano, although, as some early experiments show, she could learn
mechanically to beat out a tune on the keys.
of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch
Her enjoyment of music, however, is very genuine, for she has a
tactile recognition of sound when the waves of air beat against her.
having a preference, disposition, or tendency
When her education became more systematic and she was busy with books, it would have been very easy for Miss Sullivan to let her draw into herself, if she had been so
in such a manner as could not be otherwise
If, in the course of a conversation, the friend next to her has ceased for some moments to spell into her hand, the question comes
inevitably, "What are you talking about?"
True, her view of life is highly coloured and full of poetic
exaggeration; the universe, as she sees it, is no doubt a little better than it really is.
the action of achieving something
With her varied powers and
accomplishments, her sense of touch has not been used enough to develop it very far beyond normal acuteness.
adroitness in using the hands
dexterity is not notable either in comparison with the normal person, whose movements are guided by the eye, or, I am told, with other blind people.
tending to improve or promote development
She has practised no single
constructive craft which would call for the use of her hands.
in an exhaustive manner
Miss Keller does not as a rule read very fast, but she reads deliberately, not so much because she feels the words less quickly than we see them, as because it is one of her habits of mind to do things
thoroughly and well.
of or pertaining to hearing or the ear
There is, I am told, tactile memory as well as visual and
demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
acute sense of smell may account, however, in some part for that recognition of persons and things which it has been customary to attribute to a special sense, or to an unusual development of the power that we all seem to have of telling when some one is near.
attribute or credit to
The question of a special "sixth sense," such as people have
ascribed to Miss Keller, is a delicate one.
an abstract or general idea inferred from specific instances
Philosophers have tried to find out what was her
conception of abstract ideas before she learned language. If she had any
conception, there is no way of discovering it now; for she cannot remember, and obviously there was no record at the time.
corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
Her mind has neither been made effeminate by the weak and silly literature, nor has it been
vitiated by that which is suggestive of baseness.
characterized by forceful and energetic action or activity
In consequence her mind is not only
vigorous, but it is pure.
having high or elevated character
She is in love with
noble things, with
noble thoughts, and with the characters of
noble men and women.
a feeling of intense dislike
She still has a childlike
aversion to tragedies.
showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
She is logical and
tolerant, most trustful of a world that has treated her kindly.
orthodoxy from conforming with accepted standards
So far as she is noticeably different from other people she is less bound by
a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
She has the courage of her
metaphors and lets them take her skyward when we poor self-conscious folk would think them rather too bookish for ordinary conversation.
quick or skillful or adept in action or thought
She always says exactly what she thinks, without fear of the plain truth; yet no one is more tactful and
adroit than she in turning an unpleasant truth so that it will do the least possible hurt to the feelings of others.
dignified and somber in manner or character
Sometimes she gets started on a very
impervious to correction by punishment
Then her teacher calls her an
incorrigible little sermonizer, and she laughs at herself.
dignified and serious in manner or character
Often, however, her
sober ideas are not to be laughed at, for her earnestness carries her listeners with her.
a systematic interpretation or explanation of a topic
Some of the best of her writing, apart from her fanciful and imaginative work, is her
exposition in examinations and technical themes, and in some letters which she found it necessary to write to clear up misunderstandings, and which are models of close thinking enforced with sweet vehemence.
someone not guided by practical considerations
She is an optimist and an
In the diary that she kept at the Wright-Humason School in New York she wrote on October 18, 1894, "I find that I have four things to learn in my school life here, and indeed, in life—to think clearly without hurry or confusion, to love everybody
sincerely, to act in everything with the highest motives, and to trust in dear God unhesitatingly."