Thursday, October 08, 2020

122. The Miracle Worker

The Miracle Worker. William Gibson. 1956. 128 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Doctor: She'll live. Kate: Thank God.

Premise/plot: The Miracle Worker is a play by William Gibson about Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The play opens ever so briefly with Helen as a toddler--two years of age or so--when her parents discover her loss of vision and hearing, that she is both deaf and blind. Much of the play occurs years later--I believe when she is six?--as Miss Annie Sullivan arrives to 'teach' Helen Keller. The mother, Kate, is ever-hopeful. But there are plenty in the house that are super skeptical. How can Helen learn anything? How can Helen be taught how to behave? Surely home isn't the best place to keep such a beastly creature as Helen? That isn't fair to the household, is it? But Miss Sullivan is given a trial period to see what she can do--if anything--with young Helen. Can Miss Sullivan work a miracle and teach Helen a way to connect and communicate with the world. Can she give her language and understanding?

My thoughts: I remember being absolutely WOWed watching the Miracle Worker movies on television as a child. We had recorded both versions on the VCR. I just loved, loved, loved them both. There was something so wonderful about the story--something captivating. I remember *needing* to learn the sign language alphabet after watching the movies. And it's something that stuck with me. I would have loved to learn more sign at some point--but never did. 

When I saw the play for $2 I knew I had to buy it and read it. It's a good read, a quick read. I won't say it's as captivating to read as it is to watch. But it's good. I'm glad I read it. 


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


CLM said...

I've never seen it on television but I've been fascinated by Helen Keller since I read Helen Keller's Teacher as a child (and by an odd coincidence, I reviewed it for the #1965Club not that long ago). Didn't Patty Duke play Helen? I will definitely take a look for the play.

I also really liked Guernsey and Potato Peel Literary Society but don't remember it all that well. I recently got Netflix but have not finished the Crown. I should watch it next!

Simon T (StuckinaBook) said...

Oo interesting! I read one of Keller's books - the second one, whatever that was called - and she sounded just as remarkable as everyone says.