Of all the books I have read, my favourite book ‘The Story of My Life’ by Helen Keller. I have gone through some other books in English, but I have been most impressed by this autobiography of Helen Keller. She writes with natural ease and power, especially on her hard life, hardly even equalled by any other writer of that category.
In her book, we come to know that Helen Keller was born on June 27 in 1880 in a little town called Tuscumbia in the southern state of Alabama in the USA. She became seriously ill when she was just beginning to speak in her childhood. She recovered from illness after some days, but it made her blind and deaf. Only for the first nineteen months of her life, Miss Keller was like any other normal and physically perfect child. Thereafter she entered a world where there is no light, no sound. As Miss Keller grew, her desire to express herself went on increasing. She became angrier and angrier as she found that she could not make herself understood to others.
However, the day when Miss Anne Mansfield Sullivan came to her as her teacher was the most memorable day in her life. It turned the chapter of her life into a new horizon. From now on her days became meaningful and joyous. She entered the interesting world of the new relationship between words and the things they signify. Children who have the hearing ability can learn their language quickly and easily. They imitate what they listen from people speaking all around them and these newly learned words open up before them a vast world of knowledge and wonder. But a deaf child does not have this natural privilege. Yet from the beginning, Miss Sullivan spoke to Miss Keller, as if, she (Miss Keller) were a normal child. The only difference was that instead of speaking, she would write down the words into Miss Keller’s hand.
It was in 1890 that Helen Keller learnt somehow to speak. Even before actually speaking, she found great amusement in making different noises. While doing so, she kept one hand over the throat and with others, she felt the movement of her own lips. After a long hard process when she learnt to read, in raised letters in Braille’s methods, books on different subjects became an unending source of Helen’s happiness and joy. She learnt to write also in a special type of typewriter. In the book ‘The Story of My Life’ an account of the first twenty-two years of Helen Keller’s life has been given. During this time she came into contact with many respectable and affectionate persons. All of them had made some contributions to make her life less painful than it would otherwise have been.
In her autobiography, Helen Keller describes her experiences with such ease and sincerity in such a lucid style that it cannot but arouse love and wonder for her. But the most striking feature of my favourite book is her strong will and iron determination to cross all the hurdles of a challenged person in her own life. And, therefore, it has the universal appeal to all the readers throughout the world.