The Miracle Worker - How the Characters Change by the End of the Play

The Miracle Worker - How the Characters Change by the End of the Play

“The characters undergo profound changes by the end of the play.”

Can people change? The characters in “The Miracle Worker” play are all very different. They all have different qualities and appearances. They all change and evolve during this play. As you probably know it is a true story and it is taken place in the 1880’s. Annie grew up in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Most of the play takes place at the Keller’s house, also briefly, the Perkins Institution for the blind, in Boston. Although people change a lot throughout the play, Annie, James, and Helen change the most.

Annie Mansfield Sullivan accomplishes much and changes a great deal. She had a tough childhood, for example her back flashes to her past at the state institution, the Tewksbury orphanage. At the age of five she became almost completely blind but after several operations her sight was partially restored. Her mother died, and her father abandoned her. Annie was chosen to teach Helen in 1887, even though she had no experience of teaching. Everything Annie learned, she learned at the institution. She goes to the Kellers’ house with three advantages. She is young, full of great energy to do anything, and she is partly blind (29). When she first arrives at the Keller’s home it is her first job and everyone disbelieves in her, mostly because of her lack of experience. Helen and Annie don’t get along, until the miracle finally happens. Annie promises Helen that she will love her forever and ever, just like she once had with her little brother. The voices won’t go away, but that keeps her strong and gives her the strength she needs to help Helen.

James Keller is the son of Captain Arthur Keller, and Helen’s half brother. James and his father argue a lot (14), and James isn’t too fond of Kate Keller (25). He doesn’t have much faith in Helen, and he prefers to be called her “half” brother (27). He at least listens to most commands, and he helps Annie with her bags, and getting her out of her locked up room. He seems very closed up and doesnt want to let his feelings out in the beginning and doesn’t want to disappoint his father. He seems to be sarcastic and jealous of the new baby and Helen seeing as everyone’s attention is on them and not him. Around the end James becomes stronger, and Kate and James become friends (95). When Annie arrives he is at first doubting but eventually becomes closer and believes in her.

Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy baby. Before her 2nd birthday she had become ill, possibly scarlet fever or perhaps meningitis but to the fact where the doctors didn’t think she would survive but of course strong little Helen pulled through but lost her hearing and sight. By the age of 6 she was very aggressive. Her parents let her get away with a lot (10). She is a spoiled child who is allowed to do whatever she wants. Helen receives dolls and seems to be very emotional towards the eyes, such as when she receives the doll from Aunt EV there are no eyes. Helen grabs Aunt EV’s dress and pulls off two buttons for eyes (13). When Helen try’s to dig Martha’s eyes out that was the last straw. Keller decides to write this very famous oculist in Baltimore, Dr. Chisholm, that Aunt EV had suggested (11). This is where Annie comes along. Helen dislikes Annie very much. Annie knows there is hope and cleverness in Helen. Annie tries to get Helen to use the hand symbols that she teachers her. At the ending of the play, the link between Annie and Helen is finally made with the word water that Helen remembers from her childhood.

In the end everyone gets along, and everyone undergoes changes. Everyone becomes closer and more confident. Helen accomplished what she could, and Annie taught her what she could. James became a man and understood his life more clearly. Everyone had there doubts in the beginning about Annie and she pulled through. Everyone became stronger in the end.