The task of writing an autobiography is a difficult one. When I try to classify my earliest impressions, I find that fact and fancy look alike across the years that link the past with the present. The woman paints the child’s experiences in her own fantasy. A few impressions stand out vividly from the first years of my life; but “the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest.”

The Story of My Life

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More from Helen Keller

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Attributed

Many scholars forget … that our enjoyment of the great works of literature depends more upon the depth of our sympathy than upon our understanding. … very few of their laborious explanations stick in the memory. The mind drops them as a branch drops its overripe fruit.

The Story of My Life

… my soul stood erect, exultant, envisioning a new world where the light of justice for every individual will be unclouded.

letter to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1948)

… literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.

The Story of My Life

Children who hear acquire language without any particular effort; the words that fall from others’ lips they catch on the wing, as it were, delightedly, while the little deaf child must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the process, the result is wonderful. Gradually from naming an object we advance step by step until we have traversed the vast distance between our first stammered syllable and the sweep of thought in a line of Shakespeare.

The Story of My Life