10BEST - ANNIE SULLIVAN IN THE MIRACLE WORKER
“Sooner or later, we all give up, don’t we?” says James Keller, Helen Keller’s half brother. “Maybe you all do,” says Anne Sullivan, “but it’s my idea of the original sin… Giving up!” It is for this reason that Miss Sullivan (Anne Bancroft) is able to finally teach Helen
how to communicate after years of violent outbursts, tantrums, and isolation.
In The Miracle Worker, Sullivan's teaching method is not exactly one we would all clamor to receive. In truth, she is just as stubborn as her pupil. But her fierceness and determination is admirable as she refuses to give up on Keller and, eventually, opens up the entire world for her through her ability to communicate with others. Bancroft won an Oscar for portraying Anne Sullivan, who was based on the actual teacher of Helen Keller, and Patty Duke, who portrayed Keller in the 1962 film, actually went on to play the part of Anne Sullivan in a 1979 TV movie. Bancroft's portrayal, though, and the film itself taught us that someone doesn’t always have to be sympathetic in order to be exactly what we need.