Characters / The Miracle Worker

Annie Sullivan

Anne Mansfield Sullivan is a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" who moves to Alabama to try to teach language to Helen Keller.

  • Bad Dreams
  • Cool Shades: Justified in late 19th-century America as they protect her weak eyes, but they're still cool.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the dinner scene in both the 1962 and 1979 movies, Annie snarks silently at Helen, knowing that she can neither see nor hear her. Helen has been lying on the ground, acting out by kicking her boots, but when nobody comes to pick her up, she falls silent. Annie, who's been sitting at the table eating her dinner, lifts a forkful of food and raises it ironically at Helen, as if to say "Screw you, kid, I'm eating."
  • Determinator: Annie is determined to get Helen to realise her potential, and will stop at nothing to make it happen.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!
  • Genius Cripple: Partially blind (and totally blind later in her life), but smarter than shit.
  • Magical Nanny: Type Two
  • Self-Deprecation / Stealth Insult:
    Annie: Well, what should I say, Iím an ignorant opinionated girl, and everything I am I owe to you?
    Anagnos: That is only half true, Annie.
    Annie: Which half?
  • You Make Me Sic: Annie admits from the start that she isnít good at spelling, but she starts studying her dictionary to be sure that anything she spells to Helen, she spells right.

Helen Keller

Struck by illness as an infant which left her deaf and blind, six-year-old Helen is wild and out of control with no way of communicating with others.

  • And I Must Scream: Far more realistic and less gruesome than most examples, Helen spent five years in complete darkness and silence with no way of communicating with the people around her except for vague gestures and horrible tantrums.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Once she learns about language, everything gets better.
  • The Speechless: While not physically mute, Helen does not know how to speak, and most of her vocalizations are wordless, feral sounds.
  • Spoiled Brat: Her parents canít find it in their hearts to ďdiscipline an afflicted child.Ē
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Finger-spelling in her sleep.
  • Wild Child

Kate Keller

Helen's mother

Captain Arthur Keller

Helen's father

James Keller

Helen's older half-brother