NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 5 - July 1944
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Chapter 5 - July 1944 Exercise 15 July
Anne writes that the author of the book blindly criticised all youth for being superficial and not caring about anything good beyond themselves. Anne felt that the author was directly attacking her and so she thought that she needed to defend herself. She writes that she was the best judge of her character. People like the author of the book only judged youth by seeing their outer appearance. They did not really understand the talents and struggles which were within youth. Anne explains this by giving an example of herself. She writes that she knew herself better than anyone else in the world, even her family. She had a strong sense of self-consciousness which kept her on the right path and corrected her whenever she made a mistake. Taking her father's advice, she had decided to look after her own upbringing and had learned a lot on her own over the years. She writes that she knew she had courage and strength and could bear a lot of blows. She also writes that she felt free and young from within. She knew that she would never give up on these feelings and bow down before any difficulties which she faced.
Anne writes that she pondered over her relation with Peter much more than the growing distance between her and her father. Her clarity of thought is seen through her clear description of the relation she shared with Peter. In doing so, she also paints Peter's character as being naïve and weak. She says that it was she that conquered him instead of it being the other way round. She writes that she was in need of a friend, and since Peter was the only option she had, she took it. Although she could see his weaknesses, she overlooked them and imagined his personality the way she wanted it to be. She knew that they were not balanced in their thinking and abilities, but she still drew him closer. All she wanted was a listening ear and when she found it in Peter she ignored all other logical thought. Here she realises that she had made a mistake by letting their friendship grow into an intimacy which she was not ready to explore further with him. She had made him dependent on her. He began to cling on to her and she was unsuccessful in achieving her goal of making him broad-minded and self-sufficient.
Anne writes that when a person is in his youth, he begins to make choices and learn from his mistakes. This is the age when learning is tested and opinions are formed.
After these opinions are formed (through observation and experiment), they become the basis or foundation of his choices throughout life. Anne writes that adults do not need to worry or feel conflicted over any matter. They have already formed their opinions on every matter and now have to just live with them. However, for youth who are growing into adulthood, this is not a simple matter. Especially during the war where everything which was good was being destroyed and people were bringing out their worst, selfish sides. At such times, peoples' faith in themselves and their God was tested. Anne gives her own example and says that she can see confusion, misery and death all around. The civilised world was turning into a wilderness. Millions of people were suffering every day, and yet she says that when she looked up towards the heavens, she saw hope and believed that all this would pass and peace would return.
Chapter 5 - July 1944 Exercise 21 July
In this entry, Anne describes an attempt made at assassinating Hitler. She calls it a divine providence which saved him. He escaped with just a few bruises and scratches while a few of his officials and generals were killed in the attempt. Anne calls this really hopeful and superior news. She explains that the attempt was made by one of Hitler's own men, a young proud German general. This showed that even men from the German army were tired of the war and a divide was forming among them. Anne makes satirical comments on this matter as the consequences of Hitler's inhuman ways were beginning to lead him to his doom. Anne was not disheartened that the attempt on Hitler's life had failed. On the contrary, she joked about it saying that maybe it was best that he did not die. His inhuman ways led his own people to revolt against him. If this continued, then the time would not be far when the German army would be fighting among themselves and destroying each other. This would save the efforts of the Allies and give them a good show. Anne notes that all this actually happened and would continue to happen and the end she anticipated was sure to come.
Following the attack on his life, Hitler put all military control directly in the hands of the Gestapo. Although this move was logical, as Hitler trusted his secret force immensely, the instructions which followed were at odds with it and reflected a crack in Hitler's focus. Hitler had given his army the liberty to shoot any of their superiors on the spot if they have any indication that the superior was involved in a plot to kill him. Anne analysed this instruction and wrote that this gave the military men an excuse to take out their frustration with their superiors using false pretexts. Anne said that now the men did not need to worry about proving someone's guilt. All they had to do was blame someone and then shoot them. This threatened the lives of higher officials. They could no longer be stern with their men; this meant a total chaos among the otherwise orderly controlled troops.
Chapter 5 - July 1944 Exercise 6 July
Anne observes that both Peter and Margot looked down on themselves. They believed that they were weak and could not achieve anything great in life. Anne was more concerned about Peter because she had known him on a personal level and knew that there was no one in his life who could guide him towards the right path. Peter had never known what it felt like to make someone happy. Here, Anne wonders if it was a good quality that she was not easily influenced by others. She realised that Peter had begun to 'lean on her' a little and if she was not careful, his thinking could influence her and this would be very harmful to her own growth for she was a person who believed in hardwork and loved to learn new things. Her studies and her work kept her spirits high and encouraged her to hope for a better future. Peter did not have this benefit. Moreover, he did not even believe in God. This hurt and disturbed Anne greatly. She could not understand how a lazy deceitful life could be of any good and hoped that she should never begin thinking like Peter.
Anne could not understand how a person could see the weakness within himself and still bear to live with it. For her, the next step would be to fight against that weakness and train her body and character back to the path of hardwork. She knew it was a difficult task. However, she believed it was worth the trouble as it prevented a person from falling into the bottomless depths of life. A place where there would be no friends, no comfort and no beauty. Anne saw clearly the end of such thinking. She therefore wanted to help Peter. She wanted to make Peter believe in himself and fight the limitations within him. The word 'easy' and 'money' did not hold any meaning to her and she wanted to explain this to Peter too. According to her, happiness and self-fulfilment were the goals of any person's life. This could not be achieved without a little bit of hardwork. She wanted Peter to understand this too. So, she was looking for an argument against the word 'easy'.
Anne writes that Peter lacked both self-confidence and religion. For Anne, a family was where a person's qualities were nurtured and given a chance to grow. Equated to this was the importance of religion in a person's life. Anne calls Peter 'poor' because he did not have both these foundation stones in his life. She noted that Peter neither believed in himself nor in any religion; this was his biggest problem. She believed that when a person followed a religion, the teachings of that religion kept the person focused on the right path. She explains that believing in a religion did not mean just being fearful of punishment and the afterlife. The basic teaching of any religion encouraged a person to uphold his own honour and conscience. Anne explains this through a radical example. She says that the solution to it all was to weigh one's conscience and try to improve one's mistakes each day. Anne concludes with the line 'A quiet conscience makes one strong'.
Chapter 5 - July 1944 Exercise 8 July
Mr B., a business representative, got strawberries at an auction sale in Beverwijk. There were twenty trays in all. When these arrived at the annex, they were dusty and covered in sand. The strawberries needed to be preserved, so everyone in the annex set to work, and by the evening of the very same day, they had managed to bottle six jars and make eight bottles of jam. The excitement over getting such fresh fruits after long made everyone laugh and chat freely, ignoring the fear of being heard from the outside. People were bustling in and out of the kitchen talking and making noises carelessly. There were strawberries all around. They had strawberries for breakfast and for every other meal. Everyone helped in sorting and stalk-picking the strawberries into buckets. Anne notes here that people were adding less to the buckets and more to their own stomachs. Although the strawberries were covered with a little mud, they could not be washed as the accountant was seated in the office below, and the rule was not to go to the tap for water whenever someone was in the office for fear of being heard. Nevertheless, everyone was content with their present situation.
After the arrival of the strawberries came the peas. The family had received nineteen pounds of green peas from their greengrocer. On their arrival, Anne's mother instructed that everyone would have to help in shelling the peas on Saturday morning. Anne here came up with the idea of skinning the pea pods instead of shelling them all together and just consuming the peas within. She noted that the pods were really soft and tasty once their inner skin was removed. Also, it tripled the quantity of the vegetable. Although the idea was a good one, Anne observes that it needed a lot of attention and effort. She was not one of those people who could devote such time to mundane household chores. She therefore stuck to shelling the peas and decided that she never wanted to be only a housewife like her mother and Mrs van Daan. Everyone helped in shelling the peas on Saturday for half-past nine in the morning till a quarter past one in the afternoon. Anne writes that she was almost seasick by the time they stopped and slept till four to recover.
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