John Kemp
September 19, 2016
English 100
Paper #1
Helen Keller Meme
A meme is basically a humorous picture or video that is widely spread through social media for entertainment or to get an idea across. Memes have gotten very popular in today's culture. I think not only is this because more and more people are getting on social media, but also because it's a newer and efficient way to get an idea across or for people to get a good laugh. The meme I chose to get an idea across and to get a good laugh at was a meme of Helen Keller.
We all know a little bit about Helen Keller. At the very least, we know that she was a deaf-blind person who was an activist for woman's suffrage and labor rights. To a lot of people she was more than that. She inspired countless women as well as men to change their traditional ways and learn how everyone deserves rights. This was not an easy feat. She had very many obstacles unfortunately that had most to do with her physical characteristics and health. Not only was she deaf and blind, but she was also a woman, and in her time women were not valued as much as they are today.
Today, in our society Americans in general are seen as lazy and overweight. Helen Keller didn't settle with a normal life of being handicapped. She overcame her disabilities and went to school and became educated. Whenever I think of what she had to overcome, I try to imagine getting an education without being able to hear, but then to add on to that she couldn't see either. It makes me so grateful that I have been blessed with good health and little to no physical disabilities.
The meme shows a picture of Helen Keller with a dog in her hands and the caption says "Helen Keller and her beloved Cat, Mittens." It has a strange element of humor in it, but it made me personally think about her and her trials that she went through. With a little bit of comedic relief, this meme also has an idea behind it and some inspiration because of the woman Helen Keller was.
I don't necessarily think that the idea this meme is trying to convey Helen Keller's love of pets although maybe she did, I think it is supposed to show people her struggles. Everyone goes through struggles in their lives. Some people had lost functions of parts of their brains or the use of some limbs. Struggles aren't always physical. Some people can struggle with addictions or poverty or family issues. I think Helen Keller was perfect example of perseverance and strength in general. Sometimes we have to find inner strength to push through the trials we go through and we come out stronger on the other end. Helen Keller came out stronger on the other end and inspired others to do the same. Although this meme is quite funny, the idea of Helen Keller and her accomplishments is the idea that is portrayed in this particular meme.
Some of her accomplishments include the schools she attended and got through. She attended the Perkins Institute of the Blind in 1888. In 1894, She began to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. She then got admitted to The Cambridge School for Young Ladies and soon after attended Radcliffe College. She was admired by many people but one that stands out is author Mark Twain. Twain introduced her to Henry Huttleston Rogers. He and his wife both paid for her schooling. At the age of 24, Helen Keller became the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She learned to speak because she was determined to communicate with others, so as a result she gave many speeches and lectures in different states all around the US.
So not only did she go through schooling, but she also became a public speaker and teacher. On top of all of that, she wrote 12 published books! She helped found the ACLU and she met several presidents as well as famous figures in our history like Alexander Graham Bell and Mark Twain.
So, yes this meme