jump to article
AFB American Foundation
for the Blind
  Anne Sullivan Macy: Miracle Worker

Anne, Helen, Polly ,and Sieglende the dog, circa 1918

View Larger Image and Description

The House in Wrentham, Massachusetts (1904-1917)

Some of the letters that Anne wrote to Helen from Puerto Rico reveal the very different religious and philosophical attitudes of the two women. These letters indicate that Anne did not try to influence Helen's opinions. On the contrary, they show a sincere pleasure in Helen's independent thoughts and actions. In the following excerpt Anne laments her own lack of religious conviction:

It pains me deeply, Helen, not to be able to believe as you do. It hurts not to share the religious part of your life. To me, as you well know, this life is the important thing. What we do Now and Here matters much because our acts affect other human beings.

I am fond of the Bible as poetry. I find beauty and delight in it, but I do not believe that it was any more inspired by God than all fine writing is,—inspired. The future is dark to me. I believe that love is eternal, and that it will eternally manifest itself in life. I use the word eternal in the sense that it is as far as my imagination can reach.

With you the belief in a future where the crooked places will be made straight is instinctive. Faith in conscious immortality helps you to find life worth living despite your limitations and difficulties. The idea of living forever in some place called Heaven does not appeal to me. I am content that death should be final, except as we live in the memory of others.

Read full letter

Anne's feelings about religion were not new. As early as her days at the Perkins School, where pupils were expected to attend the church of their faith each Sunday, Anne resisted that ritual. She later wrote:

To avoid unnecessary complications, Mr. Anagnos asked me to remain in the Church until the end of the school year. I swallowed my impetuosity, and continued to exchange meaningless amenities with the Roman Church three months after I had renounced it.

Left-Arrow Go To Previous Frame

Right-Arrow Next Gallery: Trouble at Home and Abroad (1917-1930)
The Move to Wrentham
Two Love Letters
Three Lives
John and Anne Marry
John Albert Macy: Editor, Writer and Literary Critic
Financial Problems
In Praise of Anne
Travel to Puerto Rico
Countryside, Puerto Rico

ASM Galleries:
Formative Years
Formative Years

View All Media Galleries    Right-Arrow Go To Next Gallery   Left-Arrow Go To Previous Gallery

Change Colors | Biography | Chronology | Recommended Reading | Home
Introduction | Formative Years | Teacher | Wrentham | Trouble | Legacy

This site is dedicated to the memory of our friend and coworker, Regina Genwright.

Images and content are copyright © 2009, American Foundation for the Blind.
For information on reproducing material from our web site, please contact afbinfo@afb.net.