شنبه پانزدهم ژانویه 1944کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 43
شنبه پانزدهم ژانویه 1944
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متن انگلیسی فصل
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 1944
My dearest Kitty,
There’s no reason for me to go on describing all our quarrels and arguments down to the last detail. It’s enough to tell you that we’ve divided many things like meat and fats and oils and are frying our own potatoes. Recently we’ve been eating a little extra rye bread because by four o’clock we’re so hungry for dinner we can barely control our rumbling stomachs.
Mother’s birthday is rapidly approaching. She received some extra sugar from Mr. Kugler, which sparked off jealousy on the part of the van Daans, because Mrs. van D. didn’t receive any on her birthday. But what’s the point of boring you with harsh words, spiteful conversations and tears when you know they bore us even more?
Mother has expressed a wish, which isn’t likely to come true any time soon: not to have to see Mr. van Daan’s face for two whole weeks. I wonder if everyone who shares a house sooner or later ends up at odds with their fellow residents. Or have we just had a stroke of bad luck? At mealtime, when Dussel helps himself to a quarter of the half-filled gravy boat and leaves the rest of us to do without, I lose my appetite and feel like jumping to my feet, knocking him off his chair and throwing him out the door.
Are most people so stingy and selfish? I’ve gained some insight into human nature since I came here, which is good, but I’ve had enough for the present. Peter says the same.
The war is going to go on despite our quarrels and our longing for freedom and fresh air, so we should try to make the best of our stay here.
I’m preaching, but I also believe that if I live here much longer, I’ll turn into a dried-up old beanstalk. And all I really want is to be an honest-to-goodness teenager!
WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 19, 1944
I (there I go again!) don’t know what’s happened, but since my dream I keep noticing how I’ve changed. By the way, I dreamed about Peter again last night and once again I felt his eyes penetrate mine, but this dream was less vivid and not quite as beautiful as the last.
You know that I always used to be jealous of Margot’s relationship with Father. There’s not a trace of my jealousy left now; I still feel hurt when Father’s nerves cause him to be unreasonable toward me, but then I think, “I can’t blame you for being the way you are. You talk so much about the minds of children and adolescents, but you don’t know the first thing about them!” I long for more than Father’s affection, more than his hugs and kisses. Isn’t it awful of me to be so preoccupied with myself? Shouldn’t I, who want to be good and kind, forgive them first? I forgive Mother too, but every time she makes a sarcastic remark or laughs at me, it’s all I can do to control myself.
I know I’m far from being what I should; will I ever be?
P.S. Father asked if I told you about the cake. For Mother’s birthday, she received a real mocha cake, prewar quality, from the office. It was a really nice day! But at the moment there’s no room in my head for things like that.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 1944
Can you tell me why people go to such lengths to hide their real selves? Or why I always behave very differently when I’m in the company of others? Why do people have so little trust in one another? I know there must be a reason, but sometimes I think it’s horrible that you can’t ever confide in anyone, not even those closest to you.
It seems as if I’ve grown up since the night I had that dream, as if I’ve become more independent. You’ll be amazed when I tell you that even my attitude toward the van Daans has changed. I’ve stopped looking at all the discussions and arguments from my family’s biased point of view. What’s brought on such a radical change? Well, you see, I suddenly realized that if Mother had been different, if she’d been a real mom, our relationship would have been very, very different. Mrs. van Daan is by no means a wonderful person, yet half the arguments could have been avoided if Mother hadn’t been so hard to deal with every time they got onto a tricky subject. Mrs. van Daan does have one good point, though: you can talk to her. She may be selfish, stingy and underhanded, but she’ll readily back down as long as you don’t provoke her and make her unreasonable. This tactic doesn’t work every time, but if you’re patient, you can keep trying and see how far you get.
All the conflicts about our upbringing, about not pampering children, about the food-about everything, absolutely everything-might have taken a different turn if we’d remained open and on friendly terms instead of always seeing the worst side.
I know exactly what you’re going to say, Kitty.
“But, Anne, are these words really coming from your lips? From you, who have had to put up with so many unkind words from upstairs? From you, who are aware of all the injustices?”
And yet they are coming from me. I want to take a fresh look at things and form my own opinion, not just ape my parents, as in the proverb “The apple never falls far from the tree.” I want to reexamine the van Daans and decide for myself what’s true and what’s been blown out of proportion. If I wind up being disappointed in them, I can always side with Father and Mother. But if not, I can try to change their attitude. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to stick with my own opinions and judgment. I’ll take every opportunity to speak openly to Mrs. van D. about our many differences and not be afraid – despite my reputation as a smart aleck-to offer my impartial opinion. I won’t say anything negative about my own family, though that doesn’t mean I won’t defend them if somebody else does, and as of today, my gossiping is a thing of the past.
Up to now I was absolutely convinced that the van Daans were entirely to blame for the quarrels, but now I’m sure the fault was largely ours. We were right as far as the subject matter was concerned, but intelligent people (such as ourselves!) should have more insight into how to deal with others.
I hope I’ve got at least a touch of that insight, and that I’ll find an occasion to put it to good use.
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