HELEN KELLER – (rewrite)
Through her continued efforts, Helen Keller demonstrated herself as a champion for a cause. Her physical disabilities of blindness and deafness did not make her inept in seeing and hearing society’s true colors. Instead of self-pity, Keller chose to use her physical disadvantages to her advantage. Through the power of knowledge that she had gained through drastic measures, Keller used her radical political prowess to address women’s rights, education, suffrage, and cultural inequalities. Although greatly criticized and immensely underestimated, Keller rose against her most fierce opponents and advocated a positive change in the American culture.
The early decades of the twentieth century proved to illustrate times of wage inequality between the sexes in America. Despite the idealistic image that the country wanted to convey to the world, the country’s workforce found itself in despair. “When we inquire why things are as they are, the answer is, the foundation of society is laid upon a basis of individualism, conquest and exploitation, with a total disregard of the good of the whole.”1 While the working class put in long and horrendous hours in terrible conditions for mediocre pay, the upper-class reaped the rewards. As Keller observes in a factory, “crushed, stupefied by terrible poverty, the workers yet demand that they shall have some of the beauty, some of the comforts, some of the luxuries which they have material prosperity are held to be the main objects of pursuit and conquest, the
1 Helen Keller, New Vision for the Blind (Pittsburgh, PA: International Publishers, 1967)
lowest instincts in human nature — love of gain, produced.” Keller continues, “the result is a false standard of values. Trade and cunning and selfishness —are fostered.”2 For her values and opinions, Keller found herself heavily criticized in two antisocialist publications – the Common Cause and the Live Issue. As Keller describes,...