NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 2 - April 1944
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Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 1 April
Anne mentions the gradual progress of her friendship with Peter in the previous entry in her diary. She writes that they had grown close enough to discuss personal topics without feeling the need to keep their thoughts in check. This she sees as an improvement in her life and as a sign that God is still by her side. In this entry, however, she talks about her desire for a further progress in their relation. She has had a dream long ago and she dearly wishes for this dream to come true. She longs for a kiss which she says is 'so long in coming'. Peter, however, shows no signs which may prompt Anne to believe that he too is looking for something out of their relation apart from mere friendship. She wonders whether he too longs for a kiss and is too shy to acknowledge it and his love for her. She also wonders why he wants to be in her company so often and yet does not say anything to her. She is forced to ponder over these emotions and cry her heart out all alone in her room.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 11 April
On Sunday evening, Peter and Anne had taken a few divan cushions, one of which belonged to Dussel, to the front attic. While they were sitting there, Mr van Dann called out to them to inquire if they had Dussel's cushion. The cushion they took was used by him as a pillow. He was greatly annoyed with them for using his cushion. A great commotion and confusion followed this discovery. He made a lot of fuss complaining that it might be infested with fleas from the cat. He showed such love for the cushion that no one could understand it. Anne and Peter decided to take revenge for making such a huge fuss over such a small matter. They added two hard brushes in his bed and had a good laugh about it later. This brought the incident of the missing cushion to an end.
The phrase 'a blind' used by Anne means an excuse designed to disguise the truth. In this case, it must have been 'a blind' invented by the men to warn the others of an approaching danger without raising an alarm. Anne called Peter's request for help with an English sentence a blind. As soon as Peter warned the others, all the men were down in a flash and the women remained upstairs. The women talked for a while and then they heard a bang. The bang was followed by a quietness which lasted till quarter to ten. Everyone was quiet, pale in the face, waiting for the men to return. They had questions running in their minds, but no one to ask them to. At ten, they heard footsteps on the stairs and saw Mr Frank and Mr van Daan enter. In quick words, Mr van Daan told the women to turn out the lights and creep upstairs as they were expecting the police to be in the house. Anne noted that the faces of the men were also pale. The women had many questions, but there was no time to get answers. They quickly went up, turned out the lights and hid there in silence.
Anne writes that there was no time to be frightened. All of them had enough experience of the war to know that when instructions to turn off the lights and hide in the room above had come, they all had to do just that without wasting time. They had to take quick steps to hide from external threats. They grabbed everything they could and headed upstairs. The men left the women in the room above and returned down to face the danger before them. When the men had first seen the burglars trying to enlarge the hole in the door of the warehouse, van Daan, out of his quick thinking, cried out, "Police!" The alarm he raised scared the burglars and thus prevented their discovery. Once the burglars had fled, the 'Home Guards' tried to repair the damage. They put up a plank to cover the hole from being discovered by the police. However, someone kicked the plank hard from the outside and sent it flying. Although this behaviour agitated the men, their chief concern was to camouflage their hiding. Once again, they tried to put up the plank, but a married couple passing by noticed the movement and mistook them for burglars. The men had no choice but to pretend to be burglars and destroy the office as they knew that the police would be there soon. Thus, their attempts at concealing their hideout were hindered and their lives were endangered.
The break-in happened on the night of Easter Sunday at half past nine. While the men were busy trying to figure out how to fix the hole in the door, a light was shone from the outside. This drew their attention. They saw a married couple who assumed that the men were thieves. By the time the men were back inside the secret annex, they estimated that the married couple would have informed the police about the burglary they witnessed. They knew that no one would be at work on Easter Monday. This meant that the earliest they could expect the police was on Tuesday morning. If someone was to look into the place anytime before Tuesday, it had to look deserted. So, everyone remained hidden in the upstairs room.
All of them sat in pitch darkness in the room because Mrs van Daan had turned the lamp out without meaning to and they did not know what else to do. The silence was such that they could hear the breathing of everyone in the room. Two of them kept watch at Peter's open window in turns, while the other two joined the women. This continued till quarter past eleven when they heard a bustle and noise downstairs. In no time, they heard footsteps in the house. Everyone was so silent that even their breaths were inaudible now. They listened to the footsteps moving in the house from the private office to the kitchen and then on the stairs. Then they heard the swinging cupboard being rattled. At this point, they all saw death in the face. The only thought in Anne's mind was 'Now we are lost!' The breath of everyone inside stopped, and they waited for their doom, but by some luck, the men outside rattled the door twice and then the footsteps of the men retreated.
The men had to inform Koophius about the previous night's events as they needed help to fix the hold and check the neighbourhood. Doing this was risky as they expected guards to be posted in the office below, and the sound of the telephone would travel to them easily. The men informed Koophius that there were burglars in the house and that the police had come after them searching the place and reaching up to the swinging cupboard. They also told him that they believed the burglars had used force to open the door of the warehouse and had escaped through the garden. They gave him a brief on the condition of the place informing him that the main entrance had been bolted and the typewriter and adding machine were safe in the private office. Finally, they asked him to warn the Henk and get the key from Elli to look around the house for any more danger. Anne said that 'everything went according to plan' because they had managed to pass the message to Koophius without alerting the guards of their presence within.
Following the break-in, the rules in the Annexe had become even more stringent. Apart from the rules, Anne noticed changes in the behaviour of the people in the Annexe. It was a close call, the effect of which no one could shake off. While Mr Dussel changed his sitting from Kraler's office to the bathroom, Peter took it upon himself to scan the place two times now, at half past eight and half past nine. All the windows, including the one in Peter's room, were closed at all times, especially at nights. The fear of the future made everyone restless and grumpy. Everyone was at odds with someone or the other at all times. There were arguments heard constantly. Anne and Peter were reproached by everyone for what they saw as carelessness. They were constantly reminded that they were Jews, which during this war was worse than being a slave. Their life depended on how well they could camouflage their existence.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 14 April
Anne notes that more than the burglary, the fear of being found by the police had shaken everyone. The shock was so great, that it also affected their health. Everyone was constantly restless; her father, in particular, was about to explode with anger and frustration. Soon after the break-in, Mrs van Daan fell ill with fever and was restricted to her bed. Even Mr van Daan was growing pale without his smoke. Dussel, who had taken a different approach to it all, had become more observant than ever. He was the one to give up a great many things for the others. They also had problems like the leakage in the lavatory and a non-functioning tap washer. Although Anne knew that these things could be fixed and the inconvenience was only temporary, she could not ignore the timing of it all. So, she wrote 'our luck's not in at the moment'.
Anne writes that she only saw dissatisfaction, grumpy faces, sighs and suppressed complaints all around her. If an outsider were to view this, then he would deduce that they all were suddenly struck by severe adversity. However, this was not true. Their condition was the same as it was when they first went into hiding. The only difference was that the theft and the attempted burglary brought them face to face once again with the fate which awaited them. Anne observes here that 'things are just as bad as you yourself care to make them'. By this, she meant that the severity of any condition totally depended on how harsh a person considers it to be. A person's mind controls his emotions, and it is the mind which tells us whether something is bearable or not. At such times Anne writes that her work, her hope, her courage and her love kept her head above water and prevented her from complaining.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 15 April
On 15th April, a few days after the attempted burglary, Anne writes of another chaos which broke loose in the annex. This time the cause of it was Peter. He had forgotten to unbolt the front door one morning. As the door could not be opened from the outside, Kreler and the men were not able to enter the house and had to resort to entering from the back. They had to go around the neighbour's area and force open the kitchen window to enter. Kreler was enraged because of this carelessness. The incident scared and saddened Peter greatly. The scolding and the disapproval of the grown-ups almost brought him to tears. Although he was held responsible, Anne believes that everyone was to be blamed because by some coincidence everyone forgot to make sure that the door was unbolted as they would normally do.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 16 April
On the previous day, Anne had been kissed for the first time by Peter. She thought of it as her first kiss and cherished the moment in her mind. She did not give much regard to the kisses she received before on the cheek and on her hand by her friends in school. So, this was her first kiss. She describes the events which led them to kiss each other. On the previous evening, the two had been sitting on the divan with their hands around each other enjoying their quiet time. On Anne's suggestion, they moved up to prevent banging against the cupboard. Their closeness made them feel things they had never felt before. Finally, when it was time for them to leave, Peter turned to her and kissed her on her cheek through her hair. The kiss gave Anne joy as well as hope for their future. The closeness to Peter silenced her and gave her the experience of peace which she never experienced before. So, she called the day the best day of her life.
Peter's show of affection made Anne feel special. On the night of the kiss, Peter held Anne close to him. He hugged her and made her lean on him. The closeness made Anne feel things that she had never felt before. The joy of being in such proximity with him was so great that she could not utter a word. She just leaned on him and enjoyed the moment while he played with her hair and stroked her cheek. When it was time for Peter to go for his routine check around the house, she stood by him and watched him get ready. He kissed her cheek at this moment. Although she had been longing for the kiss for long, when it really came she did not know how to react. She was overjoyed and just ran down without a backward glance.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 17 April
On the following day, concerns of morality began worrying Anne. She was concerned about her parents' reaction to her behaviour. She wondered what they would say if they were to know that her friendship with Peter had grown beyond mere friendship. She tried to suppress this, but a greater concern in her mind was about Peter's next step. She knew that he was a boy and could want to either develop the relation they shared or shun it entirely. She did not know what to think and make of his behaviour. It was impossible for her to discern what he truly felt from his cool and composed exterior. Moreover, she was worried that he may not like her forward behaviour. She compares herself with Margot and writes that she would never kiss a boy without being certain of their future together. So, her own behaviour startled her. She wondered if Peter would also later think the same and give her up because of her forward nature.
Anne believed that in such trying times, everyone deserved a little happiness. She agrees that in normal circumstances her behaviour would be seen as extremely inappropriate. Now, there was so little hope and almost nothing to look forward to. She believed that she was a grown person (at least in mind) and she deserved the happiness she got. With the negativity that surrounded them, Peter's company was the only source of happiness in her life and she was not willing to give it up. She took care of herself and had the right to make her life's decisions. They were all confined to the four walls of the annex for the past two years with no chance to see the outside world and no hope for freedom. At such times, it was senseless to reject herself the little moments of love. Moreover, she considered that distancing herself from Peter was being unjust to him as she knew that he too did not have any friend in the annex and that their little meetings gave him happiness.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 18 April
Anne begins this entry by writing about the progress of the war on the Russian and Italian front. She gives information as conveyed to her by her father. She picks up the positive note in his voice and reflects it while writing this letter. The positivity in her tone can be felt by the reader. It expresses a hope for the future. The optimism in her voice can also be attributed to the good times she was sharing with Peter. She mentions being able to discuss even the most delicate topics with him. The kiss they shared every evening only added to her good mood. In contrast to a day she described before, this day seemed to have passed on a good note. Even the weather outside was pleasant; they were having a good spring day after the long cold winter; almost as if it was in tune with the positivity within. There was colour in nature once more, and this colour added colour to their gloomy lives.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 19 April
In this entry, Anne describes the beauty of a day in spring. She writes about the birds singing and the sun shining merrily. Coupled with this is the company of Peter. Observing nature with him beside her gave her immense pleasure. She writes that she wants nothing more from life. She just wants to live each day in a peaceful environment like the one she shares with Peter. This entry reflects Peter as a more grounded person, too mature for her age. The adversities that she and her family have lived through have given her a new perspective on life. She has learned to look at things from a mature person's point of view. She is not fascinated by trivial things which would normally excite a girl of her age. She has witnessed the reality of life and values it greatly. She realises that a peaceful moment with a loved one on a bright sunny morning is of greater importance than any material treasures.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 21 April
This entry moves from one topic to the other in quick succession. Anne begins by giving details of the royal family of York. Anne mentions the coming of age of Princess Elizabeth and speculates about her probable suitor. She also writes about the princess's sister Margaret Rose. After this, she jumps on to the topic of the stolen potato meal and the reaction of the residents to it. She concludes by mentioning her wish of getting one of her stories printed under a pseudonym. This entry shows us the contrast in situations around the world. While on one hand, families were hiding worried for their lives every day, on the other hand, the biggest concern for a family was to decide whether it was the appropriate time to announce the coming of age of their daughter.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 25 April
In this entry, Anne writes about the change in Dussel's reaction to the new laws laid for the safety of all. The fresh rules upset him greatly. He kept insisting that he was shouted at repeatedly by van Daan. He also said things like 'everything here happens upside down'. Although he was forbidden to sit in the downstairs office on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays, he continued to do so, inventing new excuses every time he was reproached. He even insulted Mr Frank when he (Mr Frank) called his bluff. This resulted in Mr Frank distancing himself from Dussel and avoiding speaking to him as much as possible. Van Daan was also upset with Dussel and had not been speaking to him for ten days. The men were naturally angry at all times.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 27 April
Mrs van Daan's illness had caused her to have a sulky mood. As her cold was not improving, it made her gloomy, upset and intolerant towards everyone and everything. She complained that she could not get Lozenges, her medicine for cold. She complained when the sun was not shining or because they were not allowed to look outside the window or when she felt that the invasion was long overdue. She had a reason to complain at all times. However, her gloominess did not touch everyone in the annex. All were by now used to her nature and just laughed at her persistent reasons for complaining.
Anne too was ill and was not needed to do any work around the house; she devoted her day to reading. She read pieces from different works. Anne first translated a piece from Dutch to English. After this, she read about great wars. She then moved on to the history of Africa. She read about its culture, occupations of people and so forth. She then moved on to one of her favourite subjects-family trees. She traced some family trees until midnight. History of the church and animals were her next topics. She also read a few sections of the Bible. She then read a little bit of literature and brushed up her geography. Thus ended her day spent in knowledge seeking. Anne was amazed at the amount one could read and the knowledge that one could acquire in a single day.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 28 April
In this entry, Anne describes the two sides to her personality. She writes that there were two sides to her. In contrast to the ordinary one, whom everyone saw and knew, was a different Anne-a calm and loving Anne who only wanted to be cared for and loved in return. This Anne thought with her heart. She cried when love was shown to her, while the other hid everything she felt and put up a mask of a brave girl before the others. Peter's kindness brought out the second Anne hidden with. His loving and nurturing made her see him as her safe place where she could come out and stretch herself. Anne felt secure with him; she felt him capable of giving her the love and attention she sought.
Anne was surprised by her boldness. She could not believe that she took the first step by kissing Peter. She therefore asked herself if what she did was right. She had reached a point where she needed to assess her behaviour. She knew that girls (during her time) were not allowed to be so bold and forward. They were raised to be passive and recipients of affection. She worried that her boldness might make Peter feel insecure. She did not wish to be superior to Peter. She wanted him to take care of her. She realised that her pent up emotions and longing for affection had urged her to act with such fearlessness. To add to this confusion was her fear of what awaited her at the bottom of the stairs. Every day she had to pay the cost of sharing a few wonderful moments with Peter in the dim of the night. This cost came in the form of bright light, questions and laughter; all of which she had to bear with courage.
Anne had many questions regarding her relation with Peter. Although their relation had progressed on a personal level, she knew that it was not strong enough to face the light of day. Also, she clearly understood and acknowledged the fact that they were very young and that they could not be certain about the kind of future they would have if they chose to stick together. Anne was not sure if Peter's character was strong enough to take the place of a husband in her life. Despite knowing all these things, Anne was drawn to him by some force which she could not reject. She knew that she felt happy in his presence and she wanted to continue feeling that way. Her rational side and her emotional side were at war, and this is what prompted her to write 'Oh Peter, what have you done to me!'
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 3 April
Food and food patterns in the annex are the subjects of this entry. As the war progressed, resources became scarce. Whatever was available was taken away to provide for the men fighting in the war. Anne thought it was necessary to describe in detail the food available for them to eat and the sacrifices they had to make to drag the limited rations as long as possible. Anne writes that a kind of 'food cycle' was followed in the annex. When a particular vegetable was available, they had nothing else to eat but that one vegetable for a long time. They used one vegetable to make various dishes. She mentions food cycles of endive, spinach, kohlrabi, salsify, cucumbers tomatoes and sauerkrauts. Dishes like stew, salads and casseroles all were made using that one single vegetable.
Anne mentions having the most delightful period because fresh leafy vegetables were not available. This probably means that she did not like leafy vegetables. Also, at a later point, she writes that the vegetables which were available were not of the best quality. They were bitter and almost rotten. The scarcity of these meant that they got pulses and other vegetables to eat. The long dragging food cycles containing leafy vegetables now changed to kidney beans, peas, turnips, potatoes and carrots. Although these were also of low quality, they were still a pleasant change from the bitter vegetables they previously ate. They made soups, dumplings and gravies of these. Due to the shortage of bread, they ate potatoes at every meal. The only happiness that they got during their meals was from the beetroot salads which was available often and the slice of liver sausage and jam on bread they got to eat once a week. For these small blessings, Anne wrote 'Thank goodness'.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 4 April
Anne strongly believed that the war would soon come to an end and that they would return to their normal lives. However, as their conditions worsened and the war seemed nowhere close to an end, her hope began to falter. She had been reading her books and learning her subjects hoping to return to school soon, but now she was not sure that it would happen. She wondered if all her efforts were in vain. She worried that if the war did not end by September, she would have to fall back two years at school and she did not want this to happen. The thought of not having the future she imagined caused her great sadness. Coupled with this, she was worried about her relation with Peter. She was unable to mask her sadness over Peter's inactivity. She did not understand why he did not take a step towards her if he really loved her. She knew that anytime now her facade would crack and she would break down in tears. She did not want the sympathy of others. Therefore, when she returned to bed all alone, she allowed herself to cry. She knew that this was better than letting the others see her tears. When her sobs grew louder, Anne quickly controlled herself by repeating the words 'I must' to herself.
Anne wanted to become a journalist. She wanted to make a place for herself in the world. She could not see her life limited to her family as was the case with her mother, Mrs van Daan and the other women of the time. She did not want to be a foolish or shallow woman. She believed she had a depth of perception and understanding far greater than her mother. She wanted to do more than just taking care of a husband and children. She aimed to create something by which she would be remembered even after her death. She wanted something besides a family to which she could dedicate her life and talents. Such high expectations made her the greatest critique of her own work. She understood best how well a piece was written. It helped her as it kept pushing her to improve her skills.
Writing helped Anne give expression to her thoughts and feelings. At a later point in her diary, she writes that her books and her diary, in particular, helped her maintain her sanity while the others were tormented by the attack. She notes that writing elevated her mood at all times. It rid her of her sorrows and gave her renewed courage to go on. Through her writing, she was able to recapture her thoughts, ideas and fantasies. For this reason, she dearly wished to become a successful writer one day. Anne knew that she was good at writing and was proud of this talent that God had blessed her with. She mentions two of her stories, 'Eva's Dreams' and 'Candy's Life'. She calls the first her best fairytale. She says that a major portion of the second was good too, but in totality, it did not amount to much. She had figured out how to improve 'Candy's Life' but was never drawn back to it to complete it.
Chapter 2 - April 1944 Exercise 6 April
Anne was an avid reader. She preferred literature and history over math. All her hobbies were related to learning. She says that writing was her first hobby. She also liked to create family trees of royal families. She had been working on the family trees of eight royal families across the world. These included the French, German, Spanish and English. She collected information about them from newspapers, books pamphlets and biographies. She goes on to say that History was her third favourite hobby. Greek and Roman mythology were next. Her father had bought her many books on these subjects and she spent a lot of time reading them and copying passages from them. In addition to collecting family photos, she loved to collect photos of film stars.
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