Standing in Viney’s Shoes

Standing in Viney?s Shoes Nobody pays attention to a servant.

Not when you are colored like me. I, Viney, am just your run-of-the-millhouse servant. But the family I work for is anything but average. Throughout this entry I will explain how I handled the time when I had to just sit back and watch my breakfast be destroyed and flung across the room by that measly new governess and the wild child, Helen Keller. I was so upset when I came into the dining room and saw the mess that was made. The way I felt about this situation can not be formed into words.

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Food was strung everywhere, and I didn’t know where to start, all I knew was that I had to make lunch for everyone and clean this horrendous mess. But, all I could do was just sit back and watch it happen. My only worry is that Annie will not be able to help Helen; or that the child is not bright enough to learn. Since Helen is both blind and deaf, I do not see how she will learn language. Even though Miss Annie says she is capable of learning language, I do not agree. Annie always said, “Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction” (Sullivan).

But she doesn’t seem to have a lot of sympathy for the child. Miss Annie Sullivan is a governess, so I cannot get in her way to object to her teaching, even though I do not think it is working. I plan to handle this situation by doing what I am told. If I disobey Captain Keller and Miss Kate, I will lose my job. During that awful day in the dining room with Annie and Helen, I learned that I cannot get in Annie’s way. She is tougher than nails, that woman.

I still think that Annie will never get Helen to learn language, but maybe Annie can teach Helen some manners. I know I am just a servant. But when Miss Annie says that she has sympathy for people, I wonder if she really does. After that day in the dining room, I learned to do what I am told and to stay out of Miss Annie’s way. Besides, no one ever pays any attention to a house servant like me so no one will probably ever know how I felt about this situation.

And I must learn to be okay with that.