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The Story of My Life Summary Chapter 16

Helen writes about her attempts to learn French and improve her speech. She also began to learn Latin from Mr Irons.

This chapter recounts Helen’s attempts at learning French and improving her speech. She had already read the histories of Greece, Rome and the United States. In order to improve her speech, she read aloud to Miss Sullivan and recited passages of her favourite poets. For the first time in her life, she began to take fixed lessons at fixed times.

She started learning Latin from Mr Irons whom she describes as a man of rare, sweet nature and of wide experience. She learnt critical appreciation of literature and enjoyed her Latin lessons. Miss Sullivan helped her in her lessons by spelling into her hand whatever Mr Irons said and looking up new words for her.

The Story of My Life Summary Chapter 16 Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What does Helen mean when she says that earlier she had studied various subjects in a “desultory manner”?
Helen confessed that there had been no fixed pattern to her learning. She had leamt various subjects them in a haphazard manner.

Question 2.
How do we know that Helen was determined to improve her speech?
Helen spent a considerable amount of time reading out aloud to Miss Sullivan and reciting passages from her favourite poems which she had memorised. This reflected her urge to improve her speech.

Question 3.
What was the change that occurred from October 1893?
The change that occurred in October 1893 was that Helen’s lessons became more structured and she began to have lessons in special subjects at fixed hours.

Question 4.
What did Mr Irons teach Helen?
Mr Irons was a Latin scholar. He taught Helen Latin grammar and arithmetic. He taught her critical appreciation of the texts that she read and to recognise the writer’s style.