The Miracle Worker

by

William Gibson

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The Miracle Worker Quotes

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of The Miracle Worker published in 2008.
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Act 1 Quotes

KELLER: Katie. How many times can you let them break your heart?
KATE: Any number of times.

Related Characters: Kate Keller (speaker), Captain Arthur Keller (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

ANAGNOS: Deaf blind, mute—who knows? She is like a little safe, locked, that no one can open. Perhaps there is a treasure inside.

Related Characters: Anagnos (speaker), Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller
Related Symbols: Sight and blindness
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

BOY’S VOICE [in terror]: Annie! Annie, don't let them take me-Annie!

Related Characters: James Sullivan / “Jimmie” (speaker), Annie Sullivan
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: I have three big advantages over Dr. Howe that money couldn't buy for you. One is his work behind me, I've read every word he wrote about it and he wasn't exactly what you'd call a man of few words. Another is to be young, why, I've got energy to do anything. The third is, I've been blind.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller, Dr. Howe
Related Symbols: Sight and blindness
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

KELLER: Here’s a houseful of grownups can't cope with the child, how can an inexperienced half-blind Yankee schoolgirl manage her?

Related Characters: Captain Arthur Keller (speaker), Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller
Related Symbols: Sight and blindness
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: All right, Miss O'Sullivan. Let's begin with doll.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller
Related Symbols: Dolls
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

JAMES: Spell, she doesn't know the thing has a name, even.

Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: You think I'm so easily gotten rid of? You have a thing or two to learn, first. I have nothing else to do.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

ANNIE: Any baby. Gibberish, grown-up gibberish, baby-talk gibberish, do they understand one word of it to start? Somehow they begin to. If they hear it, I'm letting Helen hear it.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller, Kate Keller
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

KATE: Miss Annie. You see, she's accustomed to helping herself from our plates to anything she—
ANNIE [Evenly]: Yes, but, I'm not accustomed to it.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Kate Keller (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 47-48
Explanation and Analysis:

KATE: My Helen—folded her napkin—
(And still erect, with only her head in surrender, KATE for the first time that we see loses her protracted war with grief; but she will not let a sound escape her, only the grimace of tears comes, and sobs that shake her in a grip of silence.)

Related Characters: Kate Keller (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

BOY’S VOICE: You ain't goin' to school, are you, Annie?
ANNIE [whispering]: When I grow up.
BOY’S VOICE: You ain't either, Annie. You're goin' to stay here take care of me.
ANNIE: I'm goin' to school when I grow up.
BOY’S VOICE: You said we'll be together, forever and ever and ever–
ANNIE [fierce]; I'm goin' to school when I grow up!

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), James Sullivan / “Jimmie” (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: Mrs. Keller, I don't think Helen's worst handicap is deafness or blindness. I think it's your love. And pity.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller, Kate Keller
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: The first year we had eighty, seventy died. The room Jimmie and I played in was the deadhouse, where they kept the bodies till they could dig—
KATE [closes her eyes]: Oh, my dear—
ANNIE: —the graves.
(She is immune to KATE's compassion.)
No, it made me strong. But I don't think you need send Helen there. She's strong enough.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Kate Keller (speaker), James Sullivan / “Jimmie” (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

JAMES: That she isn't. That there's such a thing as-dullness of heart. Acceptance. And letting go. Sooner or later we all give up, don't we?
ANNIE: Maybe you all do. It’s my idea of the original sin.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), James Keller (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

JAMES [in pain] Don't—
KATE: Captain.
KELLER: He's afraid.
(He throws JAMES away from him, with contempt.)
What does he want out of me?
JAMES [AN OUTCRY]: My God, don't you know?
(He gazes from KELLER to KATE.)
Everything you forgot, when you forgot my mother.

Related Characters: Kate Keller (speaker), Captain Arthur Keller (speaker), James Keller (speaker)
Page Number: 75-76
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

JAMES: What does he want from me?
KATE: That's not the question. Stand up to the world, Jimmie, that comes first.
JAMES [A PAUSE, WRYLY]: But the world is him.
KATE: Yes. And no one can do it for you.
JAMES: Kate.
(His voice is humble.)
At least we—Could you—be my friend?
KATE: I am.

Related Characters: Kate Keller (speaker), James Keller (speaker), Captain Arthur Keller
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: Yes, what's it to me? They're satisfied. Give them back their child and dog, both housebroken, everyone's satisfied. But me, and you.

Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

JAMES [LIGHTLY]: And Jacob was left alone, and wrestled with an angel until the breaking of the day and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him; and the angel said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And Jacob said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Amen.

Related Characters: James Keller (speaker)
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

JAMES: She's right, Kate's right, I'm right, and you're wrong. If you drive her away from here it will be over my dead-chair, has it never occurred to you that on one occasion you might be consummately wrong?

Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

HELEN: Wah. Wah.

Related Characters: Helen Keller (speaker)
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

(KATE moves to HELEN, touches her hand questioningly, and HELEN spells a word to her. KATE comprehends it, their first act of verbal communication, and she can hardly utter the word aloud, in wonder, gratitude, and deprivation; it is a moment in which she simultaneously finds and loses a child.)

KATE: Teacher?

Related Characters: Kate Keller (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNIE: I, love, Helen.
(She clutches the child to her, tight this time, not spelling, whispering into her hair.)
Forever, and—
(She stops. The lights over the pump are taking on the color of the past, and it brings ANNIE’s head up, her eyes opening in fear; and as slowly as though drawn she rises, to listen, with her hand on HELEN’s shoulders. She waits, waits, listening with ears and eyes both, slowly here, slowly there: and hears only silence. There are no voices. The color passes on, and when her eyes come back to HELEN she can breathe the end of her phrase without fear:)
—ever.

Related Characters: Annie Sullivan (speaker), Helen Keller
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.