CBSE Class 10 English Assignment - The Story of My Life

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CBSE Class 10 English Assignment - The Story of My Life. Students are advised to refer to the attached assignments and practice them regularly. This will help them to identify their weak areas and will help them to score better in examination. Parents should download and give the assignments to their children for practice.

SUMMARY

NOVEL: THE STORY OF MY LIFE

By-Helen Keller

Helen Keller, the little deaf and blind girl triumphed over adversity to become world

famous. Helen was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Captain Arthur

Henry Keller, a confederate army veteran and a newspaper editor, and her mother

was Kate Adams Keller. By all accounts, she was a normal child. But at 19 months,

Helen suffered an illness – scarlet fever or meningitis that left her deaf and blind.

Although Helen learned basic household tasks and could communicate some of her

desires through a series of signs, she did not learn language the way other children

do. Indeed, her family wondered how a deaf and blind child could be educated.

At the age of six, her mother managed to get a teacher, Anne Sullivan, to teach Helen.

After studying at the Wright Hu mason School for the Deaf and the Cambridge School

for Young ladies, Helen entered Radcliff College in 1900 and finished her graduation

in 1904. The Story of My Life shows, Helen Keller’s life is neither a miracle nor a joke.

It is a tremendous achievement. Helen built upon the brilliant work of her teacher,

Anne Sullivan, became an inter-nationally recognized and respected figure. In 1908

Helen published “The World I Live In”, an account of how she experienced the world

through touch, taste and scent. In magazine articles she advocated for increased

opportunities for the blind and for improving methods of reducing childhood

blindness.

In 1909, Helen joined the Socialist Party of Massachusetts and supported many

progressive era causes, including birth control, labour unions and the right of women

to vote. In 1924, her popularity somewhat recovered, Helen began working as a

lecturer fund-raiser for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Helen was

devastated when her companion Anne Sullivan died in 1936. After the Second World

War she toured more than thirty countries, continuing her advocacy for the blind. In

1955, she published the biography of Anne Sullivan “Teacher”, and in 1957 “The

Open door”, a collection of essays. In 1964 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of

Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Lyndon Johnson. On 1st

June, 1968, she died at her home in Arcane Ridge, Connecticut. In the second part of

the book, we can read the letters written by Helen to her beloved ones during 1887-

1901. It was quite interesting and informative with wonder and curiosity. Through

these letters, she opened her mind, saw, felt and touched the worlds of wonders.

They are exercises which have trained her to write. The book “Story of My Life” is a

story of courage and determination and a work of inspirational literature.

MAJOR CHARACTERS

ARTHUR H. KELLER

Father of Helen Keller, was captain in the Confederate Army, editor of The North

Alabamian newspaper and Marshal of Alabama

Brave, competent and respected citizen.

Loving, indulgent and hospitable and quite close to his family.

Hunting was his passion.

Nature lover-loved his big garden.

Famous story teller shared many anecdotes with his daughter.

Very much concerned for Helen, tried his utmost to assure her that she was not

handicapped or desolate.

Brought light into the life of Helen through Miss.Sullivan, a competent teacher

for Helen.

Died of a heart attack when Helen was just sixteen.

KATE ADAMS KELLER

Arthur’s second wife, beautiful, tall, fair complexioned and blue eyes.

Intelligent and had excellent memory.

Showed courage to fight with adverse circumstances. Her husband’s death and

paucity of funds created insurmountable hardships.

Did everything possible for Helen to stand on her own legs.

Supportive and had positive attitude.

MARTHA WASHINGTON

Child of the cook, little coloured girl and Helen’s constant companion.

An expert in understanding Helen’s sign and gave Helen a lot of support.

Helen always bossed her and Martha willingly obeyed

She was mischievous too. Once she seized a pair of scissors and cut off one of

Helen’s curl.She was about to cut them all but Helen’s mother saved her from

the cruel scissors of Martha

ANNE SULLIVAN

Ann Sullivan arrived in Helen’s life when she was just six

She was her teacher.

She proved strong crutches for Helen

Helen kissed success only because of Sullivan’s support and encouragement.

She proved to be a true teacher. Being blind herself she knew how ruthless

and torturing life she had to pass. She was able to understand Helen’s mental

state.

She boosted Helen’s love for nature.

She taught her manual alphabets and helped her to communicate

Sullivan was Helen’s teacher, mentor, constant companion and role model.

Helped Helen learn more from life itself.

Her nurturing and loving care helped Helen grow into a perfect adult, all

selfless and compassionate.

MILDRED KELLER

Mildred was Helen’s younger sister.

Helen was jealous of her because she thought she was an intruder who

had divided their mother’s love. Once she overturned the cradle in which

Mildred was sleeping.

Later Helen and Mildred came very close. Mildred accompanied Helen

everywhere.

To give Helen company, she even went to the same school as Helen.

MICHAEL ANOGNAS

Director of the Perkinson Institution for the Blinds, an orthodox

immigrant from Greece.

It was Anognas who sent Miss.Sullivan to Keller’s home.

He and Helen were good friends, encouraged Helen and appreciated

her compositions. He got ‘The Frost King’ written by Helen published

in Institute’s journal.

Helen was accused of plagiarism for her story ‘The Frost King’.

This incident ended the relationship between the two.

BISHOP BROOKS

Man of genius, a true preacher and noble soul Helen considered it was

the sweetest privilege of her life to know and converse with him.

Bishop Brooks broadened her horizon, never tried to limit her thought

about religion.

He said –there is one religion –the religion of love. He himself loved all

and taught Helen this great lesson of love.

He taught her two great ideas-the fatherhood of God and the

Brotherhood of Man.

Lessons taught by him broadened Helen’s outlook and thinking. The

whole humanity became her family.

DR. ALEXENDER GRAHAM BELL

It was Dr.Bell who advised Helen’s parents to contact the Perkins

Institute for the Blind.

Dr, Bell remained a friend of Helen and he accompanied her and Miss.

Sullivan on a trip to the World’s Fair.

Dr. Bell’s tenderness, sympathetic attitude won the heart of Helen.

He was deeply committed to the education of hearing impaired.

He founded the Volta Bureau for the Deaf.

He was a teacher of deaf and this passion made him develop on the

nature of sound that enabled him to invent the telephone.

MR.ARTHUR GILMAN

Principal of Cambridge School for Young Ladies.

Efficient teacher. His teaching was interesting and effective .His lessons made

learning quite easier.

Kind and warm hearted.

As principal he permitted Mildred to study at Cambridge as he knew it was

good for Helen.

He urged Helen not to take stress in her studies.

Helen had great respect for Mr. Gilman

Long Answer Type Questions based on theme/Plot/Events (150-200 words each)

Q1. Write a pen-portrait of Helen Keller.

Ans. Helen Keller was a great woman who was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, a

little town of northern Alabama. When she was still a child, she fell ill and lost her

sight as well as hearing. The world outside became dark and silent. Initially, she

used to have fits of temper when she realized she was different from others but

gradually adjusted herself in a positive way to the life which fate had chosen for

her. Her teacher, Miss Anne Sullivan helped her a lot in this. Her relationship with

Miss Sullivan was long-lasting and she never moved out without her. She taught

Helen to communicate with others through words and later sentences.

Helen had a great respect for physical bravery. She had a sportsman spirit and

never felt defeated. She loved nature and wanted to be with the trees, animals,

birds, flower, bushes, etc. Despite her physical disabilities, she learnt how to climb

trees, swimming, etc. She enjoyed the snowfall at Boston.

Helen was a girl who liked the company of others. She never felt shy. She used to

greet the guests when they visited her parents. She went to celebrate Christmas

with Tuscumbia school children and exchanged gifts with them.

She loved fragrances. Whenever she was free, she used to go out into the orchards

and gardens to enjoy the fragrances of persimmons, lilies, jasmines, ripe peaches,

etc. Her description of her various experiences were very vivid and clear.

In short, we can say that Helen was an optimistic lady who never let her disabilities

come in the path of her progressing life. Life to her was a teacher and she learnt

many things from it.

Q. 2. What were the qualities that attracted everyone towards Helen before she

fell victim to her mysterious illness? Give your views.

Ans. Helen was a very bright and happy child. She attracted everyone’s attention

towards her with her mischiefs.

In her childhood, she was an eager and self-asserting child. She imitated everyone

and learned walking as well as talking at an early age. She was the first baby in her

family so she received the love and affection of her family members to the

maximum. Helen herself wrote I came, I saw, I conquered’ as the first baby in the

family does. She started walking when she was a year old. Her mother had just

taken her out of the bath-tub and was holding her in her lap when she started

walking towards the leaves that danced in the sunlight. Even her naming ceremony

was a big event. She was not to be lightly named being the first baby in the family.

She initiated every one and learnt talking at an early age. Everyone got attracted

towards her due to these qualities.

Q. 3. Why did Helen call her pony ‘Black Beauty’?

Ans. Helen had her pony at Fern Quarry. She called him Black Beauty as she had read

the book in which there was a black horse. Helen’s horse resembled his name-sake.

He had a black glossy coat and a white star on his forehead. Helen spent many of

her happiest hours on Black Beauty’s back. Sometimes, her teacher Miss Sullivan

would let go of the horses’ rein and the pony used to stop at his sweet will to eat

grass or nibble the leaves of the trees. Helen loved her pony very much.

Q. 4. Helen Keller says, “Happy days did not last long.” Why does she say this?

What had happened to her?

Ans. Helen was an eager and assertive child during her childhood. The beginning of her

life was simple and much like every other little life. She received all the privileges as

the first baby in the family does. She was having a wonderful time as a baby but

‘happy days did not last long’. In the month of February, she fell ill. The doctors

called it ‘acute congestion of the stomach and brain’. They thought she would not

live. However, one day the fever left her as suddenly and mysteriously as it had

come. Everyone rejoiced on her being well. After getting well, she could feel her

eyes turning dry and hot. Gradually, the light became dimmer by the day. It was like

a nightmare as she turned blind and deaf for life. Not even the doctors realised that

she would never see or hear again. It was terrible but with the passage of time she

got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded her and forgot that life had, at

some stage, been different and wonderful.

Q. 5. What type of relationship did Miss Anne Sullivan and Helen share? ,

Ans. After the illness which left Helen deaf and blind, her parents went to meet Dr.

Chisholen, an eye, ear, nose, throat specialist in Baltimore. He put them in touch

with Alexander Graham Bell who worked with deaf children.

Bell advised them to contact Perkins Institute for the Blind. This institution sent

Miss Anne Sullivan as Helen’s instructor. The eventful day, on which Miss Sullivan

was to arrive, Helen felt that something unusual was going to happen. She had no

idea that the future had a surprise for her. Miss Sullivan arrived and filled Helen’s

life with brightness. Both of them shared a wonderful relationship. Miss Sullivan

was like a mother to her. She taught her the spellings of words by writing them on

her hand like doll. Later she taught her abstract words like love, water, think etc.

Once she improved her vocabulary, Miss Sullivan taught Helen how to use the

words in sentences, thus gradually increasing her knowledge. She accompanied

Helen everywhere and Helen also looked towards her whenever she wanted to

know about something, their relationship lasted for 49 years and eventually Miss

Sullivan became a companion to Helen from a mere governess.

Q. 6. ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world can’t be seen or even

touched. They must be felt with the heart.’ Justify the famous quote of Helen

Keller.

Ans. This quote is really relevant and truly signifies the life of Helen Keller herself. This

quote holds true for everything that we experience in life. It is the feeling towards

what we experience in life that is more important than what we actually see or

touch.

Helen Keller had lost her sight and hearing at a very tender age to an illness. She did

not give up on life. With all the adversities surrounding her, she still fought back with

the courage and the love of the people who surrounded her and supported her

throughout. It is these feelings of love, courage, hope, satisfaction, happiness,

desire, pain, ambition, etc., which makes a person what they are. In fact Helen learns

the beauty of love not by seeing or touching but by feeling it. Her life itself stands

testimony to this statement ‘The best and most beautiful, things in the world can’t

be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.’

Q. 7. How did Helen learn subjects like Geography, History and Science?

Ans. Helen had a different way of learning subjects like Geography, History, etc. She

went with Miss Sullivan to an old tumble-down lumber wharf on the Tennessee

River which was used during the Civil War to land soldiers.

She built dams of pebbles, made islands and lakes, dug river-beds all for fun, never

realizing that she was learning a lesson. She listened to Miss Sullivan’s descriptions

of burning mountains, buried cities, moving rivers of ice, etc. She made raised maps

on clay so that she could feel the mountain ridges and valley and follow the course

of river with her fingers.

She learnt Arithmetic by stringing beads in groups and by arranging kindgarten

straws, she learned to add and subtract. She did not have much patience to arrange

more than five or six groups at a time.

She studied Zoology and Botany also in a leisurely manner. She listened carefully to

the description of terrible beasts which tramped the forests and died in the swamps

of an unknown age.

The growth of a plant itself taught her a lesson in science. She bought a lily and set it

in a sunny window. Very soon she noticed the signs of opening in the pointed buds.

This process was reluctant in the beginning but later on used to go on rapidly- in

order and systematically. There was always one bud larger and more beautiful than

the rest which pushed her outer covering with more pomp. In a way she learned

from life itself.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

Q. 1. “Helen had a great strength and courage which helped her come out of her dark

and silent world.” Justify.

Q. 2. Write character sketch of Anne Sullivan. Q.3.Write a

character sketch of Bishop Brooks. Q.4.Describe Helen’s

relationship with her sister Mildred.

Q.5. Helen was very close to nature. She could understand nature through touch and

smell. Discuss the role of nature in Helen’s life.

Q.6. Write a pen- portrait of Arthur .H. Keller.

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