The Miracle Worker

The asylum? I grew up in such an asylum.

Annie Sullivan

The Miracle Worker

See more monologues from William Gibson


Age Range
Act 2
Time & Place
The Keller Homestead, Tuscumbia, Alabama, 1880s,
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Annie Sullivan is the dynamic and obstinate governess to Helen Keller, a young deaf

Monologue Text

The asylum? I grew up in such an asylum. The state almshouse. Rats -- why my brother Jimmie and I used to play with the rats because we didn’t have toys. Maybe you’d like to know what Helen will find there… not on visiting days? On ward was full of the -- old women, crippled, blind, most of them dying, but even if what they had was catching there was no where else to move them, so that’s where they put us. There were younger ones across the hall, prostitutes mostly, with T.B., and epileptic fits, and some of the kind who -- kept after other girls, especially young ones, and some insane. Some just had the DT’s. The youngest were in another ward to have babies they didn’t want, started at 13,14. They’d leave afterwards but the babies stayed and we played with them too, though most had -- sores all over from diseases you’re not supposed to talk about. The first year we had eighty, seventy died. The room Jimmie and I played in was the dead house where, they kept the bodies until they could dig the graves. No, it made me strong. But I don’t think you need send Helen there. She’s strong enough.

Gibson, William. The Miracle Worker. Scribner, New York, NY. 2008. 68-69.

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