Video Reaction Paper #1: The Miracle Worker: Helen Keller This movie gave me a small insight about how deaf/ blind people were treated back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Annie Sullivan often recalls her childhood which was spent with her brother in a state institution called almhouses. These were disease ridden, rat infested places people got sent to when no one wanted to care for them either because they were disabled or sick and dieing in some way. She talks about how horrid the conditions were and how she and her brother would play with corpses and no one would care.
I thought it was sad that people would just assume that because someone is deaf or blind that they are mentally disabled and so easily tossed them aside. It also showed how the people in Helen’s life had let her run rampant because she was “special” and instead of trying to teach she took pity on her. People sometime try to cater to the deaf/ blind by not setting rules or trying to teach them anything because they feel they are ignorant and inferior, and that the most you could expect was to “train them like animals. “
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I thought the movie really helped give me insight to some of the hardships deaf/ blind people have to face in their everyday life, and in trying to learn. Helen throws temper tantrums and acts out because she is so frustrated with her situation. Before this movie I had never given much thought to how difficult it might be to understand a concept as simple as things have names. I would have liked to see more on Helen Keller after she learns to communicate. I know from reading about her that she went on to do a number of great things.
She became a prolific writer and activist, and many other pioneering things in the hearing as well as the deaf culture. I felt the movie ended very abruptly once she understood the concept that things have names, and I would have liked to see a little more of how she was taught to communicative and understand words for thins, such as feelings and concepts, that don’t have a physical object to touch and hold. I would like to have learned about how she was accepted later on in her life by the hearing community, and how she and Annie Sullivan’s success had an impact on the ducational practices of then and now. I would imagine the director would have some personal investment to the deaf community to want to take part in this movie’s production. He would also have to immerse himself in the deaf community in order to properly portray the characters and their reactions correctly. It doesn’t however seem that he puts much bias in this movie seeing as how it was meant to be more of a biographical movie about Helen Keller and her education with Ms.
Sullivan. I think this movie was meant to inspire people. It really sends out the message that you can accomplish anything you want to if you try hard enough, and should never give up. It also deals with how people with disabilities are treated, and how they learn. Helen Keller is meant to be a role model for a person who triumphs over profound disabilities. Anne Sullivan is meant to be a role model for a sensitive and innovative teacher.