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Life Challenges in Three Days to See Essay

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Academic Response Essay; “Three Days to Live”

Hellen Keller was just 19 months old when she became blind and deaf due to an illness. Yet, she did not let this hold her back. She made the best out of her situation and learned to communicate through sign language, voice lessons, and most effectively her writing. In 1902, Keller published her own autobiography, The Story of My Life, in addition she also published numerous overbooks and essays including the essay “Three Days to See”. In this essay Keller’s main ideas are based on her perspective on life and the value of life and our senses. The thought of how we should life everyday like it is our last and how most of us take life for granted and we are not grateful for what we have until we lose it. From my own experiences, I agree with Keller’s view about people not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, but I also disagree with the idea of how she believes that “Only the deaf appreciate hearing. Only the blind realize the blessing that lies in light” (page 1).

In her essay “Three Days to See” Keller writes about her views on life and what she would do if she had three days to see. On the first day she explains how she would like to see everyone who has made her life worth living for and her dogs. She also wants to take a walk in the woods and see a glorious sunset fallowed by being able to see in the artificial light. On the second day she will visit the past. The museums which she has visited before and touched with her hand but this time she will be able to see the exhibits. That evening she will attend the theater where she can see the actors moving so gracefully across the stage. Lastly, on the third and final day she embraces the present by going to New York City. Where she can see the city from below for the top of the empire state building and stroll down Fifth Avenue and be a window shopper. That evening as her time of seeing is coming to an end she will attend the theater again, this time to watch a hilarious funny play. Keller knows that as soon as her sight is taken away she will only be left with memories. The way she spends her three days being able to embrace every object within her range of vision and embracing the world of beauty around us really makes you think about how lucky we are to have all these senses.

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One of Keller’s main ideas is not being grateful for what you have until you lose it. Based on my own personal experiences, I live by this motto. In September of 2017 my uncle and my papa were in a plane crash and both passed away. This made me take a step back and take a good look at all the people in my life and the memories I have made. Although it is not the same as losing any of your senses. Knowing that I will not be able to see their faces, hear their voices, feel their warm hugs, and smell their cologne is something I did not take for granted until I had realized what I lost. Another experience that made realize how grateful I was, was when I moved away from home for college. I am from Northern California, I live on the ocean surrounded by mountains and redwood trees. Now here I am living 2,000 miles away from home where everything is different. I am surrounded by strange people and it has all made me embrace the beautiful place I call home. The taste of the crisp air off the ocean, the image of the sun setting through the trees, and the faces of all those that I love knowing that all I have is memories and that I won’t see them for another 5 months. It’s not the same as not being able to see every day, but for me it is, and it made me realize not to take everything for granted.

One of my favorite lines in Keller’s essay reads, “Only the deaf appreciate hearing. Only the blind realizes the blessing that lies in light” (page 1). Now this may be my favorite line but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. Many of us that do have sight and hearing still appreciate those things. I appreciate the beauty our world has to offer through photography. For me it is being able to capture the sun rising over a barn or the detail in a new born lamb’s eyes or the texture of the redwood bark on a tree, or the emotion in someone’s face. Sight is a beautiful gift and I think that we as humans do take it for granted but that we appreciate the things that give us a reason to see the beauty within. Now hearing is slightly different, many of us don’t appreciate this but I believe we all have those moments where we do. Whether it is hearing your child say its first word or that one song that makes the whole world stop or even sitting on the porch drinking coffee in the morning listening to the birds sing. Everyone appreciates hearing at certain times but they do not realize it until it is gone.

Hellen Keller was a woman who understood life’s challenges and, in her essay, “Three Days to See” she explains her thoughts on how we should live everyday like it is our last. I agree with what Keller is saying in her essay about not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, but I also disagree with the idea of how she believes that only the deaf appreciate hearing, only the blind realize the blessing that lies in light. Overall, Keller’s essay is a very strong piece and I think that her message she is trying to make throughout the essay is clear to those who take a moment to understand life’s gifts.

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