The Miracle Worker

by

William Gibson

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

Smoked glasses Symbol Analysis

Smoked glasses Symbol Icon

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 are still weak after her operation and sensitive to bright lights. Setting aside their practical value, however, the smoked glasses are an important symbol of Annie’s past. They remind the audience that Annie herself has struggled with blindness, and knows first-hand—to a limited extent—what Helen Keller is going through. In a way, the smoked glasses establish that Annie is a character with a foot in both worlds: she’s an educated woman who has learned how to “see,” both literally and metaphorically, and yet she can remember a time when she was blind and cut-off from the world just like Helen.

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

Smoked glasses Symbol Timeline in The Miracle Worker

The timeline below shows where the symbol Smoked glasses appears in The Miracle Worker. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Communication Theme Icon
Learning and Teaching Theme Icon
...blind children, who announce that they’ve bought Annie a going-away gift: a pair of smoked glasses (i.e., tinted glasses). One of the children explains that Annie’s eyes have hurt “since the... (full context)
Communication Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...remarking that northerners “certainly rear a peculiar kind of young woman.” Arthur notices Annie’s smoked glasses, and Kate explains that Annie was blind, and has had nine eye operations. Arthur mutters,... (full context)
Communication Theme Icon
Learning and Teaching Theme Icon
...shawl inside, and wraps it around her body, then puts on Annie’s bonnet and smoked glasses as well. Then, she finds Annie’s drawers (i.e., underwear), and a large doll. Helen seems... (full context)
Communication Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...get it back, but instead Helen becomes enraged and swings her arms, causing the shawl, glasses, and bonnet to fall off of her. James says, “She doesn’t know the thing has... (full context)
Act 3
Family Theme Icon
Meanwhile, in the garden house, Annie, not wearing her smoked glasses, writes that she feels deeply “undisciplined” as she teaches Helen. She looks the word up... (full context)
Communication Theme Icon
Learning and Teaching Theme Icon
...Kate enters the garden house and inquires what Annie is doing. Annie quickly puts her glasses on again and explains, “Whatever I spell to Helen I’d better spell right.” Annie shows... (full context)