Chapter 16 The Story of My Life Extra Questions, Summary, and Notes


The Story of My Life

The Story of My life- Novel for class 10- English CBSE

By Helen Keller

Chapter 16- Notes and Study Material

Introduction of Chapter 16- the Story of My life by Helen Keller

By the time Helen reached the age of thirteen, she had learned to fingerspell, to read in raised print and in Braille. She could speak English and little French too. After that, in October 1893. Helen began her formal  schooling in preparation for college by taking Latin and Math lessons. Initially, she did not like Latin more than Math. but soon grew to love it. Until now, Helen’s learning had been based on her interests. Anne Sullivan’s  method with Helen was to follow her interests, teaching her what she asked to know and providing her with experiences. Helen, at this time, worked systematically at something that did not offer immediate gratification. She had a goal to achieve. Along the way, she started liking the study of Latin since she had a gift for various languages.

Conclusion/ Chapter in short/ Analysis of Chapter 1/Understanding the Theme of Chapter 1

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

Short Summary of Chapter-1 The Story of My Life by Helen Keller in Simple Words-

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.

Extra Important Questions and Answers 

Question.1- What does Helen mean when she says that earlier she had studied various subjects in a ‘desultory manner‘?

Answer-Helen confessed that there had been no fixed pattern to her learning of the various subjects. She had learnt them in a haphazard manner.


Question.2-How do we know that Helen was determined to improve her speech?

Answer-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?

Answer-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?

Answer-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.

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