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The Story of My Life Summary Chapter 17
Helen recounts the time spent at the Wright Humason School for deaf, in New York where she found the teachers very dedicated and sincere. She talks about the death of her friend Mr Spaulding.
Helen recounts the time spent at the Wright Humason School for the deaf, in New York City, in 1894. She learnt vocal culture, lip reading, arithmetic, physical geography, French and German. She found French more difficult than German because her German teacher could use the manual alphabet whereas her French teacher could not use it manually. She could not learn to speak as quickly as she wanted to, and hence was disappointed.
She also found arithmetic difficult. Although these disappointments caused her great depression, she pursued other studies with interest, especially physical geography. But for these drawbacks, she found the teachers at the school very dedicated and looked back at the two years spent there with fondness.
She remembers her walks to Central Park and how she loved to have it described to her each time she went there. The chapter ends with Helen’s encounter with yet another death, that of her friend, Mr John Spaulding. His passing away left an irreplaceable void in her life.
The Story of My Life Summary Chapter 17 Questions and Answers
Why was Helen sent to the Wright-Humason School in New York City?
Helen was sent to Wright-Humason School to be trained in vocal culture and lip reading. Along with that, she studied subjects like arithmetic, physical geography, French and German.
Why did Helen find it easier to learn German?
The German teacher was able to use the manual alphabet and since Helen had already acquired some proficiency in it, they were able to talk in German easily. Soon, she was able to read the book Wilhelm Tell.
What were the disappointments that Helen had to face at the Institute?
Helen’s skill in lip-reading and speech did not improve as quickly as everyone had expected. Hence there was a sense of disappointment for Helen.
Which subject proved the most difficult for Helen? How did she deal with it?
Helen found it very difficult to do arithmetic. She tried to deal with it by guessing the answers or jumping at conclusions, but it only aggravated her difficulties.
What did Helen remember of the teachers at Wright-Humason School?
Helen remembered her teachers at the school as very dedicated; they tried their best to give their students whatever advantage possible to lead them out of the confined lives they led.
What does Helen mean by saying, “Before I left New York these bright days were darkened by the greatest sorrow”?
Helen, here, refers to the death of Mr John P Spaulding of Boston, who had been a great friend of Helen and Miss Sullivan.