Helen Keller: An Idol to Deaf People?

2987 Words Feb 21st, 2018 12 Pages
HELEN KELLER AN IDOL TO DEAF PEOPLE?

Rona M. Stanley
HIS 331: History of the American Deaf Community
December 1, 2013

As children, many of us watched “The Miracle Worker,” the movie that showcased Helen Keller as a deaf blind child in need of communication. Through the movie, we came to admire and sympathize for this character as the movie portrays her perseverance to overcome her disabilities instead of resigning to them. The love and bond between her and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, leaves us with an image of a loving and compassionate person that we’ve come to respect. Children’s literature often portrays her in the same light. School lessons portray her as one of the leading figures of the twentieth century. She is held in high regards for overcoming her disabilities to become an advocate for people with disabilities. Some might even consider her to be an inspiration to the deaf and blind due to her success in life.
While this information may be factual, why is the rest of her life left out? Why is her political views disregarded? Where is the information showing her support of eugenics? Is Helen really the advocate that we originally thought she was? Was Helen an advocate that believed all disabled people should receive equality? Or were her views on advocacy different? There are many questions as to why our society focus on Helen as a pitiful deaf blind girl in need of nurturing and communication and ignored the rest of her passions that made her…

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