The Miracle Worker

LANE: Let me guess. You and Lorelai haven’t made up yet?
RORY: Nope. Things are still very Miracle Worker at my house.

Most likely a reference to the 1962 biographical film The Miracle Worker, directed by Arthur Penn and based on the 1959 play of the same name by William Gibson (originally part of the 1957 television drama anthology Playhouse 90); Gibson wrote the screenplay for the movie.

The film is the story of Anne Sullivan (1866-1936), the sight-impaired teacher of Helen Keller (1880-1968), who had become both blind and deaf at a very early age. Anne was able to break through Helen’s almost total isolation from lack of language, allowing her to communicate with the world by spelling words into her hand and teaching her to read Braille.

Helen made remarkable progress at a school for the blind with Anne’s support, and went on to become the first blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree, forging an inspirational career as an author, political activist, and lecturer.

William’s Gibson’s source for The Miracle Worker was Helen Keller’s 1902 autobiography, The Story of My Life, and the title comes from Mark Twain‘s description of Anne Sullivan as “a miracle worker”.

The Miracle Worker received rave reviews, and is still considered one of the most inspirational films ever made. Anne Bancroft, who played Anne Sullivan, won the Academy Award for Best Actress, while Patty Duke, who played Helen Keller, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (in the 1979 television remake, Patty Duke played Anne Sullivan).

Rory possibly means that she and her mother are still not talking, just as Helen Keller was not able to communicate until she was taught to by Anne Sullivan. She could also be referring to the famous fight scene in the movie, shown on the poster, where Anne Sullivan struggles physically with Helen Keller in an effort to make her eat politely at the breakfast table, to mean that she and Lorelai still fighting.

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