Chapter 1 : March 1944 - Ncert Solutions for Class 10 English CBSE
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Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 16 March
The cause of Anne's general restlessness was the lack of personal space where she could work, dream, think and sleep, something which Peter had. Anne was a growing girl. She wished to have a space of her own where she could have her alone time. However, this was not possible because of the limited space in the Secret Annexe. She had to share a room with the other members of the Annexe and had to be content with whichever corner she was given. She longed for the double bed which she had at home before they went into hiding.
She coped with this change of events by escaping to the attic whenever she had the chance. The space in the attic and the company of her diary were the only things which gave her the opportunity to be her real self. In the attic away from the watchful eyes of the elders, Anne could express her inner feelings and live them without any reserve.
Anne noticed that over the days spent in the Annexe she had grown cold and secretive towards her family. She was no longer as affectionate towards her parents as before nor did she share any of her thoughts with Margot. She noticed an attraction towards Peter which she could neither understand nor explain. She therefore hid all these emotions within herself and put up a brave front for the others.
Anne wanted a room for herself where she could do whatever she wished without adult supervision or interference. She decided to close up her feelings because she did not want to moan about herself before the adults. She wanted to be seen as a brave and mature girl. Anne was also confused about her feelings for Peter. She found it terribly difficult not being able to say anything about it to him. However, she knew she could not take the first step. At that time, it was mandatory that a boy took the first step in any relation. She found it increasingly difficult as each day passed to keep her thoughts and dreams hidden within herself. She could not share these thoughts with her family either as she knew that no one would really understand her. So, she decided to close up her feelings and put a mask of contentment on her face.
At this stage in life, Anne sees herself rapidly turning into an adult. On many occasions, she believes that her thoughts exceeded even the thinking capacity of her mother and elder sister. And yet, her feelings for Peter make her feel childish and immature. She mentions being good at concealing her true emotions and putting up a brave front. However, she is not able to control the feelings developing in her for Peter. She therefore calls herself 'a crazy child'. When Anne's emotions were in turmoil, the diary which she used to pen down her thoughts and feelings served as the only point of refuge in her life. She used the diary as a friend with whom she could share her deepest and most personal emotions. She was not accustomed to sharing all her feelings with her family. This had not been an issue in the past. But since they came to live in the annex and she began developing feelings for Peter, this became increasingly difficult. She needed someone who would listen to her without judging her or admonishing her like an adult. Therefore, she turned to her diary for refuge. She mentions that if she did not have her diary, then her thoughts would overpower and suffocate her.
Anne saw Peter as a quiet, peace-loving person. She could not believe that a person as calm as him could be fond of someone like her. She was full of life and active. They were opposites in all manners visible. However, she knew that her 'inner self' was completely different from her outer self. She too was a calm, deep thinking person within. She suspected that Peter had succeeded in looking beyond her outward appearance and had sensed the deep-seated calmness within her. If so, he would be the only one to have ever accomplished it. Even her family did not know that side of her. Anne pitied Peter for his passiveness and sometimes believed that her liking for him had stemmed from that pity. However, it did not matter. Her feelings for him were growing stronger day by day, and she was getting restless from not being able to do anything about it. She wanted to at least share her thoughts with him.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 17 March
When the news of Kraler being exempted by the court from digging reached the residents of the Secret Annexe, they all breathed a sigh of relief. Kraler was a Dutch businessman and one of the associates of Mr Otto Frank. He had been of great assistance to Mr Otto while planning and executing their movement from their home to the Secret Annexe. He had helped Otto Frank make all the necessary arrangements for months before they moved into the annex. He was one of the few people who knew the whereabouts of the Franks. He was exempted from working because of his poor health. If he was taken away or worse, arrested, it would mean one less person to provide for the basic needs of the people hidden in the annex. It would also mean that their location could be discovered and their lives would be in danger. Therefore, all the residents were extremely anxious when Kraler was summoned for work.
Margot and Anne were tired of their parents' constant watch over them. They believed that they were old enough to at least make a few decisions for themselves. However, they thought that their parents treated them like little children. They were constantly told what to do and what not to do. Every move that they made was scrutinised and questioned. Anne mentions not being allowed salt in her food and being asked what work she had if she was going upstairs. Although Anne was allowed to read almost any book, she still had to get the approval of her father for every book she was about to read. Also, every evening their mother made it a point to remind them that it was time to go to bed. Even after following all these instructions, they were questioned on every little thing they did throughout the day. For example, if they gave a sigh or touched their head with their hand, they were asked if they were unwell or had a headache. More than anything else, the firm leash on their freedom irritated the two sisters the most. On their part, the sisters upset the parents too, particularly Anne. She did this by refusing to give them lots of kisses as she did before. She also did not like nicknames. She believed that nicknames are 'terribly affected'.
Otto Frank and his wife were trying their best to maintain the feeling of normality as far as possible in the Annexe. They did not want their daughters to experience the trauma of the war. Therefore, they continued kissing them and using their nicknames like they did in their own house. However, they were also agitated and extremely worried about their future. The war did not seem to be coming to an end anytime in the near future. They were troubled by the thought of the world that their daughters were growing in. In an attempt to protect their daughters, Otto Frank and his wife unconsciously began dominating their every move. They had a set pattern in their mind, which, according to them, if followed, would keep all of them alive and safe. Unfortunately, this forced pattern curbed their daughters' independence.
Anne saw herself as 'a person (an adult) more than a child'. She believed that she was more mature than other girls of her age. She, therefore, disliked being treated like a child. She believed she had the ability to discern right from wrong. She had her own opinions, ideas and principles. She was sure that she could discuss and argue upon any matter better than her mother. She was not as prejudiced or exaggerating as her mother. She thought that she was superior to her mother over a great many things because of her cleverness and accuracy of knowledge.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 19 March
Anne had been nurturing feelings for Peter since a few days. As the days went by, her feelings grew stronger. She was unable to keep the secret any longer. This was even more difficult for her because she was not accustomed to sharing her feelings with anyone, so she did not have anyone as her confidant. The secret was making her emotionally disturbed. On Saturday, 18 March, she decided to at least have a conversation with Peter. When the family gathered for dinner, Anne whispered to Peter asking him if he would be going to shorthand that evening. When he answered in the negative, she told him that she wanted to talk to him. He agreed and thus the two met after dinner and had their first personal conversation.
Anne and Peter met at the open window in his parents' room after dinner. They stood on each side of the window preferring the semi-darkness of the night. Anne mentions speaking on a great many topics with him. They began by discussing the most evident topics like the quarrels in the Annexe. They then went on to share their relationship with their parents. They both mention having grown apart from their parents in confidence and bonding. Both of them did not confide in their parents. Anne even mentions not being able to share her feelings with her sister despite knowing her well. Both Anne and Peter had their own way of dealing with their emotions. While Anne cried her heart out in bed, Peter would go up to the loft and swear when he was annoyed over a matter. They even discussed matters like good night kisses which seemed as a necessity in Anne's family, whereas for Peter it was a rarity. Finally, the two talked about the year they moved into hiding. They agreed that so much had changed in these years that they could not identify with their past selves.
Anne was fond of writing and wanted to achieve great heights as a journalist. She therefore gave a lot of importance to style and manner of writing. However, while writing this particular entry, she noted that she did not follow the standard conventions. By the end of this entry, Anne felt that she did not do justice to the form of a diary entry. She had been so excited about the conversation and so eager to pen it in her diary that she did not follow the rules of writing a diary entry. She wrote whatever came to her mind without ordering her thoughts or framing complete sentences. She jumped from thoughts to her memory and back to her thoughts without indication. So, she felt that she should apologise for the same.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 20 March
On the morning of 20 March 1944, Peter asked Anne if she would come again one evening to meet him. He assured her that she did not disturb him indicating that he enjoyed her company. At this, Anne told him that it was not possible for her to come often as her family and the others would not approve of her frequent visits. Peter urged her not to let the thought of the elders bother her. The contrast between Anne's and Peter's thinking is reflected in the diary entry for 20 March. Although the two agreed on most matters, in this particular instance, Anne comes across as a person closer to her family. She has opinions about herself and her family, but those opinions do not come in the way of her upbringing. The approval of her parents and of the inmates of the Annexe matters to her. Although she does not agree with them, she pays heed to them. Peter, on the other hand, is a passive rebel; he merely ignores things he does not agree with. His suggestion of the same to Anne highlights their difference of opinion.
Since a long time Anne had been suspecting that Margot, her elder sister, too liked Peter and that her feelings for him were also very strong. Therefore, she said 'a little shadow has fallen on my happiness'. Anne did not know what to do about this. She called this situation 'wretched' and unfortunate because she knew that her (Anne's) friendship with Peter would hurt her sister greatly. Margot bore all of this in silence without showing the loneliness or pain she felt. Anne once shared this concern with Margot saying "I think it's so rotten that you should be the odd one out". Margot accepted with some bitterness though she was indeed an odd one. Anne did not like to hurt her sister. However, she was not even willing to give up her friendship with Peter for Margot's sake. Also, she did not know the exact nature of Margot's feelings for Peter. So, it was extremely risky to take any step in that regard. Her own friendship with Peter had just flourished, and she did not think it wise to share this piece of information with him.
In her letter, Margot made it clear that she did not envy the friendship that Anne and Peter shared. She only felt sorry as she did not have a friend like Peter with whom she could share her thoughts and feelings. She mentions that times were such that they could not afford to be jealous about anything. Everyone should be grateful for what they have as there is always someone wishing for something that someone else takes for granted.
Margot also stated that her friendship with Peter would never have gone so far. She believed that she could share her thoughts and feelings only with someone who understood her through and through. For someone to understand her so well, that person would have to be her superior in intellect and this was not the case with Peter.
To this letter, Anne replied saying that there was no serious relationship developing between her and Peter. She told her sister that all they did was share their feelings and thoughts by the window in the moonlight as they found it easier to do so rather than trumpet them in broad day light. She also gathered from Margot's letter that her affection for Peter was of the kind which a sister has for her brother. She expressed her own desire to help Peter in whatever way possible. She concluded by saying that they should not talk about this again.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 22March
On reading the letter she received from Anne, Margot concluded that Anne was not yet sure regarding her feelings for Peter. She pitied her and would therefore feel guilty when she visited Peter. This feeling of guilt she called 'prickings of conscience'. Margot did not want Anne to feel sorry on her account, and so she urges her not to think in that manner. In her reply, Margot once again assured Anne that she could not see Peter in the role of a close friend. She explained that she believed she too deserved to have someone to 'share her mutual confidence with', but this did not mean that it had to be Peter and, that try as she might, she could not see Peter in that position. So, out of her concern and love for Anne, Margot urged her to follow her heart's desires and enjoy Peter's companionship as much as she could.
In the entry dated 22 March 1944, Anne mentions things getting interesting at the 'Secret Annexe'. She says that she knows by this point that Peter is in love with her. However, she also clearly states her doubts regarding the depth of his love and their future together. She calls it a 'real great love' developing in the annex. Her maturity at such a young age is reflected in this entry when she says that she is not thinking about marrying him as she does not know what Peter will be like when he grows up. Moreover, she is not even sure if their love will ever grow strong enough for them to want to marry each other. She also understands that Peter loves her but does not know what kind of love it is that they share. They complemented each other and accepted that they both filled a certain space in the other's life.
In this entry, Anne talks about her relationship with Peter. She says that she is certain he loves her but does not know yet the nature of his love. She is not sure whether he loves her as a close friend, a sister or as a girl. Although this confuses her, she feels that the bond they share is good enough at the moment. She does not wish to complicate it further with the thought of labelling it. She therefore in her letter to Margot writes 'the best thing we can do is simply wait and see'. She mentions being extremely happy when he praised her and said that she helped him over his parents' quarrels. She knows he works very hard on his French and this makes her very proud. She also appreciates his appearance saying he looks good when he is quiet and when he laughs. She decides to take Margot's advice and simply enjoy their relation giving it time to take its own course.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 23 March
The diary was written during the Second World War. Anne and her family, who were Jews, were in hiding at the time. For them, a normal day was much different from what it was before the war started. It included living cooped up in the annex without making any noise. Listening to the news on the radio throughout the day was another common practice in the Secret Annexe. Random quarrels and arguments were also common. In the midst of all this, everyone derived their little peace and happiness in their own way. The irony of calling all this 'normal' is highlighted further when Anne mentions the plane crash near their residence. She also mentions their coupon men being released from prison and their individual health conditions. All of them were not in the best of health, but this was normal at the time because epidemics and diseases were widespread. A girl of her age accepting death and destruction as normal reflects the harsh reality of wars.
Anne's frequent visits upstairs did not go unnoticed by the residents of the annex. Subtle remarks were passed when she was seen going up after supper, especially by Van Dan and Dussel. They called it her second home. Another common remark was 'Is it suitable for young gentlemen to receive young girls in semi-darkness?' Even Anne's mother's curiosity was aroused by her visits, and Anne noticed that she too was eager to know what they spoke about. Anne's father caller her prudish and vain and did not care much about the matter. Peter believed that the elders were only envious of their friendship and their disregard for their disapproval. He did not shy away when it came to replying to their remarks. However, he did falter when he had to come down to get her, turning scarlet with embarrassment. At such times, Anne felt grateful that she did not blush.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 27 March
Anne does not have a biased opinion about the political scenario of her time. However, she does realise the futility of it all. Though she and her family are greatly affected by the war and their position in it as Jews, she does not form opinions about it, but she ponders over it constantly like the elders in the annex. It is clear from the letters that she has a clear idea about the events taking place in the world and how it directly impacts their lives. She too follows the news on the radio, but she does not let this be the centre of her life. She understands that discussing the war and quarrelling over the policies of countries involved in it is not going to aid or hamper their lives in the secret annex. Although affected like all by it, she is a silent observer who records everything without adding her own prejudices or biases to it.
For the people in the annex, the only means of remaining connected with the outside world was their radio. It is through this that they received all the news regarding the progress of the war. The residents of the annex were also supplied with the latest information by their ticket men and other Dutch associates outside. However, the news that these brought was not always reliable. It was mixed with personal judgements, speculations and associations. It was a routine in the annex to switch on the radio early in the morning every day and to keep it on till late in the night, often till eleven. Elders in the annex listened to the news all through the day while doing their daily chores. Anne notes that though one or two news bulletins were sufficient for a day, the elders felt compelled to listen to them all, almost as if their grasping capacity was severely limited.
Anne noted that there was a volatile situation in the annex where political opinions were concerned. Everyone had their understanding of the war and favoured one country over the other. Politics was a favourite topic of discussion and argument in the annex. It was 'like pricking someone with a pin and watching them jump'. She confesses to doing it herself often and seeing everyone jump into the argument with vigour. Everyone had something to say, and they all believed that their thinking was right. Anne noted the meaninglessness of these arguments. It was like a cycle. Every invasion, air raid, speech etc. led to a discussion. A single statement or a news article started a conversation which turned into a debate, an argument and a quarrel in no time. Emotions were involved and energy was replenished every time a new discussion started.
Anne called the 'Special Air Raid Announcements' fascinating because these were something never done before. The Announcements recorded and notified the public about every raid they conducted. This was disappointing at the same time because it made the listeners aware of the constant destruction of life and property. It worried people as they realised that there was no certainty of a safe future for anyone. Nevertheless, all the residents of the annex spent most of their time before the radio, listening intently to every announcement and speech. The residents hoped and eagerly waited for news which would indicate better days for them. As always, everyone waited for each news or speech to end, eager to get down to discussing its contents.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 28 March
Anne's frequent visits to the room upstairs had upset her mother. Her mother had almost forbidden her from visiting Peter. She believed that their closeness made Mrs van Daan jealous. She also suspected that Peter was falling in love with Anne. She told Anne that Peter had been looking at her constantly. Whether she approved of his love or not is not clear. However, she wished to maintain cordial relations with all the residents of the annex. So, she was extremely upset with Anne for disregarding her instructions. Anne understood that her behaviour upset her mother because she loved and cared for her. However, this could not convince Anne to give up Peter. Anne on her part thought that the elders did not understand them and complicated simple things. A silent battle went on between the two which the other residents of the annex, including her father, ignored.
Anne mentions her mother being cross and upset with her because of her closeness to Peter. She asserts that she does not feel sad regarding the matter because she believes that their mothers do not understand them and cannot see that they are happy just being together. Her consultation with her father about the same confirms the fact. She does not wish to give up on Peter as his company makes her happy in the troubled times they live in. She wishes that her mother's suspicions of him being in love with her would be true. Then they could move ahead with it and bond on a deeper level. All this however only depends on Peter's acceptance of their relation. Anne wonders if he will ever say anything about it and will her dream of coming close to him become a reality. Anne wishes Peter to be superior to her in every possible way.
Anne admires Peter and everything which Peter does. When she sees him lying with his head on his arms and his eyes closed, Anne thinks he looks like a child. She sees his loving side when he plays with their cat Boche. At times when he does heavy work like carrying potatoes or other things, she admires him for his strength. When Peter takes the position of the guard looking out for burglars or watches the shooting, Anne sees him as a brave boy, and finally, whenever he behaves in an awkward or clumsy manner, she thinks he is a pet. Thus, Anne, in quite simple terms, lists all the aspects of Peter without being critical or judgmental. Her love for him causes her to see the good in everything he does.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 29 March
Anne thought that it would be very interesting if she was to publish a romance of the "Secret Annexe after the war. She wondered how it would seem to people who read her diary some ten years after the war. She thought people would find it funny to read how the Jews lived and what they ate and what they spoke about when they lived in hiding. Although she wrote a lot about her everyday life in the diary, it was still not close to half of what they went through during the war. In this entry, she notes all the fine details of their lives and the lives of the people around them. Amid all the destruction of the war and chaos, Anne sees the disorder as a good thing as it led to discontent and revolt among the masses. She noted that the people in the offices were also discontented with the system.
Anne says that diaries like her own rarely included the scary picture of life during a war. She devotes this entry to giving the reader a gist of the things she witnessed and experienced while they lived in the Annexe. She says that the bombs which were dropped caused their houses to tremble and filled the ladies with a nerve-gripping fear. Experiencing the destruction caused by the military was one part of it, living through its secondary impact was another. Supplies were limited during the war. The ration which was meant for a week did not suffice for more than two days. People had to stand in long queues to buy vegetables. There was a scarcity of medical supplies too. Doctors were not available to treat the sick as they feared leaving their cars even for a moment on the streets. Conditions were such that one could not even leave the house unattended for more than five minutes. Burglaries were rampant. Even little children of six to eleven years broke glasses of cars and stole whatever they could get their hands on. People did not have clean clothes or proper shoes to wear. The newspapers carried numerous announcements every day offering rewards for the return of precious belongings.
Chapter 1 - March 1944 Exercise 31 March
In this entry, Anne mentions the progress of the Russian troops in the war. She writes that the Russians were by the Polish border and had reached River Pruth near Romania. She further explains that they were close to Odessa. Although this was something to look forward to, there was also a setback. Hungary had been occupied by the Germans and there were about a million Jews still there. This meant that their doom was certain. Anne felt the need to record this as their progress meant the defeat of the Germans and the freedom of the Jews. The Jews in hiding knew that little rebellions from the inside could not do much to the strong foundation of the German troops. Only a strong force from out could defeat the Germans and gain them their freedom. Everyone was relying on the Russian's to be that force.
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