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the miracle worker ACT 1
Terms in this set (41)
HELEN IS INFANT
why is the doctor at the keller house at the beginning this scene?
the baby HELEN is sick
HOW AND WHY DOES THE MOOD QUICKLY CHANGE AT THE END OF SCENE 1
it becomes serious and somber. Kate became hysterical when she realizes the baby cannot see or hear. Kate: "Look. She can't see. Look at her eyes! She can't see. Helen! Or hear. When I screamed, she didn't blink! Not an eyelash! She can't hear you1"
Helen is 6 years old
What actions does Helen make toward Percy and Martha that show you she wants to communicate? Can she sense what they are saying?
She pokes her fingers into their mouths. She is trying to feel their lips as they speak. She also tries to transfer the sounds/vibrations from their mouths to her own so she can speak
What does Helen try to do to Martha?
She attacks her with the scissors and tries to cut her eyes out. This is symbolic because she wants to have eyes and see like everyone else. she wants to cut out Martha's eyes so she can see.
Scene 3: Attitudes toward Helen by her family
Hostile, Compassionate, loyal, persistent, desperate, frustrated, loyal, discouraged, obstinate
Captain Keller - frustrated, discouraged, compassionate
"I've stopped believing in wonders!"
"The child has been to specialists all over Alabama and Tennessee. If I thought it would do her any good."
Katie, how many times can you let them break your heart?"
Kate Keller - Compassionate, loyal, persistent, obstinate
"I think the Captain will write to the Perkins School soon."
(On how many times she will let them break her heart) "Any number of times as long as there's the least chance... for her to see or to hear."
James Keller - Hostile, obstinate
"you really ought to put her away, Father. Some asylum. It's the kindest thing."
(She is your sister James.) "Half sister,and half mentally defective." "She can't even keep herself clean. It's not pleasant to see her about."
What does James suggest Mr. Keller should do with Helen? Why do you think he feels this way?
Why do you think James is so hostile to Helen?
"You ought to put her away father. In some asylum. It's the kindest thing."
He wants to put her in an asylum. He may want to help her, however again he may be a little jealous at all the attention Helen's disability is getting. He may be jealous of the lack of attention he is getting from his father and maybe even his stepmother. He might also feel a little hostile because of the fact that his father has remarried and has forgotten about his Mom. "Half sister and half mentally defective!"
What does Aunt Ev want to do with Helen?
Does everyone agree?
She wants to call a famous oculist (eye doctor), Dr. Chisholm in Baltimore to help Helen.
No, everyone does not agree with her.
Mrs. Keller is as loyal as a pit bull on this one. She wants to give Helen every chance to live a normal life and will fight for that right.
Captain Keller is frustrated and feels that Helen has seen many doctors already and it has done no good. He wants to give up on that option, but Mrs. Keller never will.
James wants to send her away and even calls her a "mental defective"
What does Helen do to Aunt EV? Why?
The doll is like Helen. It has no eyes. She wants to use the buttons on Aunt Ev's dress as eyes for the doll. this symbolizes her desire to see. remember her actions also with Percy and Martha where she first tries to transfer the movement and vibrations from their lips to her own. She also tried to cut Martha's eyes with the scissors.
Scene 4 -
Setting is in Boston at Perkins Institute
What is the setting of Scene 4? Why is Annie there?
What does Dr. Agnos think of her? Write a quote to prove this.
The setting is the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston.
Annie is a student there because she contracted an illness that made her blind, but has now had an operation to restore her sight. dr. Agnos admires her determination, but thinks that she is stubborn or obstinate. He syas, "When you came to this school, you could not spell your name. To accomplish so much here in so few years, but always an Irish battle for independence." He uses, "an Irish Battle for Independence," as a metaphor for her stubbornness and unwillingness to change. The Irish (Northern Ireland) have been fighting against the British for independence for hundreds of years and some them will not give up.
Who is Dr. Agnos talking about and what does he mean when he says this? "She is like a little safe, locked that no one can open. Perhaps there is a treasure inside."
He is talking about Helen. It is a simile, Helen is being compared to locked safe. Helen lives in a dark world. No one can understand or even know her because she can't really communicate. Her mind is locked to everyone. Everyone may think because she cannot communicate that she is not intelligent. He is challenging Annie to unlock this mind. It may have many treasures (thoughts and feelings) that are waiting to be expressed. As we will see later, many people treat Helen like she is a baby, or even a pet.
Who syas this series of quotes to whom? What does she mean?
"I crawled in here like a drowned rat"....
"I haven't loved a soul since and I never will."
"But this place gave me more than my eyes back."
Annie came to Perkins INstitute after her brother Jimmy died of tuberculosis). She had become blind by an illness, trachoma.
She is saying that Jimmy was the only person she ever loved and now she feels that she can never love another person again.
She probably thinks anyone she loves she will lose.
The last quote is expressing her thanks. She says the Perkins Institute has given her much more than her sight. It has been her family and has given her love. Again, she is losing something (people at Perkins) who she loves and again.
What do the girls at the institution give to Annie as a going away present?
A pair of glasses because she has just had an eye operation to restore her sight. They know her eyes are still hurting and she is going somewhere where the sun is very bright.
What do Helen's family and the servants give her when she throws a tantrum?
Why do they do this?
Do you think it is a god strategy? Why/or why not?
They five her sweets (cake or candy) to keep her quiet.
No, it is not a good strategy, because the candy may be encouraging and even rewarding her bad behavior. It might give the family peace for a short time, but she is not learning anything.
Why is James dressed up at the beginning of scene 5?
He is going to meet Annie who is arriving on the train. It is important to tell the students that in Southern culture the men are very polite and protective of women. This will be an important aspect of the conflict between Captain Keller and Annie.
Annie is a Northern woman who is modern and thinks she can take care of herself. This will be explained better a little later when he tells his wife that Annie is "rough"
How would you describe Captain Keller and James' relationship?
Hostile (unfriendly) and competitive
What are the three things Annie tells Kate she has going for her?
a.) she has read everything that Dr. Howe (the expert from Baltimore) has written
b.) She is young and has energy.
c.) She has been blind
What does Annie mean when she says, "I am as shaky inside as ababy's rattle?
She is telling Mrs. Keller that she might appear confident, but she is really quite nervous about her new challenge of teaching Helen.
She doesn't want the Kellers to know she was raised in an asylum
Why does Captain Keller think Annie is rough?
He is used to Southern women of the era. "You will find here in the South we view women as the flowers of civilization." He thinks Annie is very unlady-like and not elegant and ill-mannered. Of course she is from the North. This is the post Civil War era and there is still a great deal of hostility and animosity toward the North who won the war.
What does James mean when he says "Great, now we have two of them to take care of ?"
How does Captain Keller react to this?
Why is this surprising?
He means now they have two blind girls, Helen and Annie to take care of. Poor James he seems to be agreeing with his father who has just been complaining about Annie's inexperience and blindness. James reacts by saying, "nothing I say is right!"
What new game does Annie start to play with Helen?
Is James impressed with the new game/
What is the first thing Helen learns to spell?
It is a spelling game (sign language). No, he thinks Helen is just mimicking the movements like a monkey. Some will say "cake." Others may say DOLL which she repeats the finger motion of in the air.
"Spanish monks under a vow of silence. Which I wish you would take!
Who said it to whom?
Annie said this to James in the bedroom where she was teaching Helen sign language.
What "deeper meaning" does the above quotation show?
She is throwing him out of the room so she can work with Helen. She may be getting a little annoyed with James' jokes and uncooperative attitude.
However, she has a good sense of humor and may be amused by him.
"Do what my fingers do. Never mind what it means!"
Who said it to whom? Where?
What does she mean by this quote?
Annie said it to Helen in __________________
At this point it is just important that Helen learns the mechanics of Sign or even starts to enjoy the game. Meaning will come later as she learns and the letters and makes connections with the objects they identify.
"Forever and Ever Annie!" You promised! Forever and ever!"
Who said it and where?
Annie said it when she was having nightmares while sleeping.
What deeper meaning does the above quote have?
She is hearing the haunting voice of her brother Jimmy who died of tuberculosis in the asylum. She feels guilty because she was not there to help him. Again she has vowed to never love anyone again because she thinks everyone she loves she loses
What fascinates Helen about the doll?
What two things does Helen do to Annie when she gets the doll back from her?
The doll has eyes, her other doll did not have eyes.
She hits her with the doll and knocks her tooth out and then locks her in the room.
Where does Helen hide the key? How did Annie find out where it was?
Helen first hides it in her mouth and then puts it in the well under the pump. Annie watched Helen hide it.
What is the symbolism in Helen clawing at Percy and Martha's lips as they speak.
This symbolizes her desire to speak.
What is the symbolism of Helen attacking Martha's eyes with scissors?
She wants to cut out Martha's eyes so that she (Helen) can use them to see
What is the symbolism of Helen tearing the buttons off of Aunt Ev's dress
The doll with no eyes represents Helen's blindness. The doll is like Helen, it has no eyes. She wants to use the buttons as eyes for the doll.
This symbolizes her desire to see.
Symbolism of the doll
The doll represents Helen and her blindness. Helen wants the doll to have eyes so it can see, just as she wants to see herself. Annie strangles the doll when she is frustrated with her progress
Symbolism of the key Helen takes
It symbolizes you need the key to unlock the door to enter my world
Locking Annie in the Bedroom
She is locking Annie out so that she cannot enter Helen's world and teach her to communicate
Helen hiding the key in her mouth
She is locking Annie out of her world Annie needs a key to unlock Helen's mouth/language. Teaching me will be a challenge. You had better be clever because I am. You will have to find the key. It won't be easy.
The well/throwing the key in the well
Helen is like a well, dark and silent inside. Helen silently lies in a dark prison-like body. She can't see or hear anything like she is inside of a well.
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