The Story of My life- Novel for class 10- English CBSE
By Helen Keller
Chapter 15- Notes and Study Material
Introduction of Chapter 15- the Story of My Life by Helen Keller
The winter and summer following ‘The Frost King’, Helen spent with her family in Alabama. She was very happy. The Frost King was forgotten. In the autumn, she started to write a sketch of her life a year after she had written ‘The Frost King’. But she was frightened and took every precaution in expressing herself while writing, she slopped and reflected if she was not giving expression to someone else’s ideas that had appeared before her she would not write anything the whole day. Miss Sullivan motivated her to continue her work. It was her persuasion that she was writing the sketch of her life for youth’s companion. The chief incidents of the year 1893 which she describes in this chapter are her trip to Washington during the inauguration of President Cleveland and her visits to Niagara and the world’s fair. She says that it is difficult to describe her emotions produced in her heart while she stood near the Niagara Falls and ‘felt the air vibrated and the earth tremble’ she was accompanied by Miss Sullivan and Dr Graham Bell. Whenever she described her visit to Niagara and its beauties, people would ask her in wonder ‘What did the beauties of Niagara mean to her when she could neither sec the waves rolling up the beach nor hear her roar? In the world’s fair, Helen was introduced to the wonders of the world about which she read in her books. Now she was face to face with them. This visit to the world’s fair transported her from the fairyland of the children to the real world. There she saw the idols of Shiva and Ganesha, pyramids of Egypt, the lagoons of Italy, and many other things which are dragging to Mexico and the other parts of the world. She came to know of the process of the shining and cutting of diamonds. She visited the ships used by Columbus during his journey to America. She also visited the electrical building and examined telephones, autophones, photographs and many other scientific inventions. Dr Graham Bell told her in detail about the functions of these devices. All these things were added to her vocabulary and knowledge. She felt how different the real world was from the world of the fairy tales that greatly fascinated her in her childhood. But in no sense, the real world was less beautiful than the fairy world.
Conclusion/ Chapter in short/ Analysis of Chapter 15/Understanding the Theme of Chapter 15
Helen writes about the time spent in Alabama, her constant anxiety about the originality of her writing, her trip to the Niagara Falls and her visit to the World Fair.
Short Summary of Chapter-15 The Story of My Life by Helen Keller in Simple Words-
In this chapter, Helen writes about the time she spent in Alabama with her family, and how she returned to writing. She was plagued with insecurity about the originality of anything she wrote. She checked and double-checked her writing to make sure that she had not copied from something she had read, even accidentally. Miss Sullivan continued to encourage her and persuaded her to write a brief account of her life for the Youth’s Companion. Helen recounts her trip to Washington, the Niagara Falls and World’s fair. The curious bazaar of India, the pyramids of Cairo, the lagoons of Venice and her experience on board a Viking ship at the World’s fair, was a totally new and enriching experience for Helen. The World Fair proved to be a storehouse of information for Helen who readily absorbed every bit that she came across. She confesses that all these experiences added a great many new terms to her vocabulary.
Extra Important Questions and Answers
Question.1– How did Helen resume writing?
Answer- Helen had serious doubts about her ability to write original work. She was anxious if she might be writing things that she had read somewhere else. She would check and double-check her work to make sure she was not inspired by other works. However, Miss Sullivan continued to encourage her and persuaded her to write for the Youth’s Companion, for which she wrote a brief account of her life.
Question.2-What surprised people about Helen’s appreciation of the Niagra Falls?
Answer- People could not understand how Helen could appreciate the Niagra Falls without being able to see or hear the loud roar generated by the fall, flowing down the steep mountainside.
Question.3-Why does Helen feel that her visit to the World Fair had helped to broaden her horizons and become mature?
Answer- The visit to the World fair with Miss Sullivan and Dr Alexander Graham Bell was an eye opener for Helen. For the first time in her life, she could ‘see’ all the marvels of invention, treasures of industry and skill and all the activities of human life. She was able to learn about India, Egypt, Mexico and other parts of the world through the statues and relics displayed in the Fair. This broadened her horizons and stirred her interest in the world around, rather than in fairy tales and make-believe.