can have read Miss Keller's autobiography without feeling that she writes unusually fine English. Any teacher of composition knows that he can bring his pupils to the point of writing without errors in syntax or in the choice of words. It is just this accuracy which Miss Keller's early education fixes as the point to which any healthy child can be brought, and which the analysis of that education accounts for. Those who try nike free haven 3.0 to make her an exception not to be explained by any such analysis of her early education, fortify their position by an appeal to the remarkable excellence of her use of language even when she was a child.This appeal is to a certain degree valid; for, indeed, those additional harmonies of language and beauties of thought which make style are the gifts of the gods. No teacher could have made Helen Keller sensitive to the beauties of language and to the finer interplay of thought which demands expression in melodious word groupings.At the same time the inborn gift of style can be starved or stimulated. No innate genius can invent fine language. The stuff of which good style is made must be given to the mind from without and given skilfully. A child of the muses cannot write fine English unless fine English has been its nourishment. In this, as in all other things, Miss Sullivan has been the wise teacher. If she had not had taste and an enthusiasm for good English, Helen Keller might have been brought up on the "Juvenile Literature," which belittles the language under pretense of being simply phrased for children; as if a child's book could not, like "Treasure Island" or "Robinson Crusoe" or the "Jungle Book," be in good style.If Miss Sullivan wrote fine English, the beauty of Helen Keller's style would, in part, be explicable at once. But the extracts from Miss Sullivan's letters and from her reports, although they are clear and accurate, have not the beauty which distinguishes Miss Keller's English. Her service as a teacher of English is not to be measured by her own skill in composition. The reason why she read to her pupil so many good books is due, in some measure, to the fact that she had so nike air max wright recently recovered her eyesight. When she became Helen Keller's teacher she was just awakening to the good things that are in books, from which she had been shut out during her years of blindness.In Captain Keller's library she found excellent books, Lamb's "Tales from Shakespeare," and better still Montaigne. After the first year or so of elementary work she met her pupil on equal terms, and they read and enjoyed good books together.Besides the selection of good books, there is one other cause for Miss Keller's excellence in writing, for which Miss Sullivan deserves unlimited credit. That is her tireless and unrelenting discipline, which is evident in all her work. She never allowed her pupil to send off letters which contained offenses against taste, but made her write them over until they were not only correct, but charming and well phrased.Any one who has tried to write knows what Miss Keller owes to the endless practice which Miss Sullivan demanded of her. Let a teacher with a liking for good style insist on a child's writing a paragraph over and over again until it is more than correct, and he will be training, even beyond his own power of expression, the power of expression in the child.How far Miss Sullivan carried this process of refinement and selection is evident from the humorous comment of Dr. Bell, that she made her pupil a little old woman, too widely different from ordinary children in her maturity of thought. When Dr. Bell said this he was arguing his own case. For it was Dr. Bell who first saw the principles that underlie Miss Sullivan's method, and explained the process by which Helen Keller absorbed language from books.There is, moreover, a reason why Helen Keller writes good English, which lies in the very absence of sight and hearing. The disadvantages of being deaf and blind were overcome and the advantages remained. She excels other deaf people because she was taught as if she were air max 90 normal. On the other hand, the peculiar value to her of language, which ordinary people take for granted as a necessary part of them like their right hand, made her think about language and love it. Language was her liberator, and from the first she cherished it.The proof of Miss Keller's early skill in the use of English, and the final comment on the excellence of this whole method of teaching, is contained in an incident, which, although at the time it seemed unfortunate, can no longer be regretted. I refer to the "Frost King" episode, which I shall explain in detail. Miss Keller has given her account of it, and the whole matter was discussed in the first Volta Bureau Souvenir from which I quote at length:MISS SULLIVAN'S ACCOUNT OF THE "FROST KING"HON. JOHN HITZ, Superintendent of the Volta Bureau, Washington, D. C.Dear Sir: Since my paper was prepared for the second edition of the Souvenir "Helen Keller," some facts have been brought to my notice which are of interest in connection with the subject of the acquisition of language by my pupil, and if it is not already too late for publication in this issue of the Souvenir, I shall be glad if I may have opportunity to explain them in detail.Perhaps it will be remembered that in my paper*, where allusion is made to Helen's remarkable memory, it is noted that she appears to retain in her mind many forms of expression which, at the time they are received, she probably does not understand; but when further information is acquired, the language retained in her memory finds full or partial expression in her conversation or writing, according as it proves of greater or less value to her in the fitness of its application to the new experience. Doubtless this is true in the case of every intelligent child, and should not, perhaps, be considered worthy of especial mention in Helen's case, but for the fact that a child who is deprived of the senses of sight and hearing might not be expected to be as gifted mentally as this little girl proves to be; hence it is quite possible we may be inclined to class as marvelous many things we discover in the development of her mind which do not merit such an explanation.* In this paper Miss Sullivan says: "During this winter (1891-92) I went with her into the yard while a light snow was falling, and let her feel the falling flakes. She appeared to enjoy it very much indeed. As we went in she repeated these words, 'Out of the cloud-folds of his garments Winter shakes the snow.' I inquired of her where she had read this; she did not remember having read it, did not seem to know that she had learned it. As I had never heard it, I inquired of several of my friends if they recalled the words; no one seemed to remember it. The teachers at the Institution expressed the opinion that the description did not appear in any book in raised print in that library; but one lady, Miss Marrett, took upon herself the task of examining books of poems in ordinary type, and was rewarded by finding the following lines in one of Longfellow's minor poems, entitled 'Snowflakes':'Out of the bosom of the air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.' "It would seem that Helen had learned and treasured the memory of this expression of the poet, and this morning in the snow-storm had found its application."In the hope that I may be pardoned if I appear to air max 1 overestimate the remarkable mental capacity and power of comprehension and discrimination which my pupil possesses, I wish to add that, while I have always known that Helen made great use of such descriptions and comparisons as appeal to her imagination and fine poetic nature, yet recent developments in her writings convince me of the fact that I have not in the past been fully aware to what extent she absorbs the language of her favourite authors. In the early part of her education I had full knowledge of all the books she read and of nearly all the stories which were read to her, and could without difficulty trace the source of any adaptations noted in her writing or conversation; and I have always been much pleased to observe how appropriately she applies the expressions of a favourite author in her own compositions.The following extracts from a few of her published letters give evidence of how valuable this power of retaining the memory of beautiful language has been to her. One warm, sunny day in early spring, when we were at the North, the balmy atmosphere appears to have brought to her mind the sentiment expressed by Longfellow  
Zaloguj się, aby oddać głos
0