The Miracle Worker


William Gibson

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Miracle Worker can help.

The Miracle Worker Symbols


Water is the most overt symbol in The Miracle Worker. It’s the cornerstone of the play’s most famous scene (and one of the most famous scenes in American theater), in which Annie Sullivan pumps…

read analysis of Water

Keys and locks

Another important symbol in The Miracle Worker is the key. Throughout the play, various references are made to keys, keyholes, and locked doors. Often, it is Helen Keller herself who locks the doors—at one point…

read analysis of Keys and locks

Smoked glasses

Before Annie Sullivan leaves her school to go to the Kellers’ home, her blind students give her a present: a pair of smoked (i.e., tinted) glasses. Annie uses these glasses to protect her eyes, which…

read analysis of Smoked glasses


There are several dolls in The Miracle Worker, including the doll Annie Sullivan brings with her to the Kellers’ home and the doll Aunt Ev makes for Helen Keller. Throughout the play, dolls…

read analysis of Dolls

Sight and blindness

As one might expect, The Miracle Worker is laden with symbols relating to sight and blindness. At one point, Annie Sullivan makes this symbolism explicit by noting, “Language is to the mind more than light…

read analysis of Sight and blindness

Get the entire The Miracle Worker LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Miracle Worker PDF