پنجشنبه ششم جولای 1944

دوره: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / درس 82

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

86 درس

پنجشنبه ششم جولای 1944

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متن انگلیسی درس

THURSDAY, JULY 6, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

My blood runs cold when Peter talks about becoming a criminal or a speculator; of course, he’s joking, but I still have the feeling he’s afraid of his own weakness.

Margot and Peter are always saying to me, “If I had your spunk and your strength, if I had your drive and unflagging energy, could. . .

Is it really such an admirable trait not to let myself be influenced by others? Am I right in following my own conscience?

To be honest, I can’t imagine how anyone could say “I’m weak” and then stay that way. If you know that about yourself, why not fight it, why not develop your character? Their answer has always been: “Because it’s much easier not to!” This reply leaves me feeling rather discouraged. Easy? Does that mean a life of deceit and laziness is easy too? Oh no, that can’t be true. It can’t be true that people are so readily tempted by ease. . . and money. I’ve given a lot of thought to what my answer should be, to how I should get Peter to believe in himself and, most of all, to change himself for the better. I don’t know whether I’m on the right track.

I’ve often imagined how nice it would be if someone were to confide everything to me. But now that it’s reached that point, I realize how difficult it is to put yourself in someope else’s shoes and find the right answer. Especially since “easy” and “money” are new and com- pletely alien concepts to me. Peter’s beginning to lean on me and I don’t want that, not under any circumstances. It’s hard enough standing on your own two feet, but when you also have to remain true to your character and soul, it’s harder still. I’ve been drifting around at sea, have spent days searching for an effective antidote to that terrible word “easy.” How can I make it clear to him that, while it may seem easy and wonderful, it will drag him down to the depths, to a place where he’ll no longer find friends, support or beauty, so far down that he may never rise to the surface again?

We’re all alive, but we don’t know why or what for; we’re all searching for happiness; we’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same. We three have been raised in good famthes, we have the opportunity to get an education and make something of ourselves. We have many reasons to hope for great happiness, but. . . we have to earn it. And that’s something you can’t achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.

I can’t understand people who don’t like to work, but that isn’t Peter’s problem either. He just doesn’t have a goal, plus he thinks he’s too stupid and inferior to ever achieve anything. Poor boy, he’s never known how it feels to make someone else happy, and I’m afraid I can’t teach him. He isn’t religious, scoffs at Jesus Christ and takes the Lord’s name in vain, and though I’m not Orthodox either, it hurts me every time to see him so lonely, so scornful, so wretched.

People who are religious should be glad, since not everyone is blessed with the ability to believe in a higher order. You don’t even have to live in fear of eternal punishment; the concepts of purgatory, heaven and hell are difficult for many people to accept, yet religion itself, any religion, keeps a person on the right path. Not the fear of God, but upholding your own sense of honor and obeying your own conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal. Everyone is welcome to this prescription; it costs nothing and is definitely useful. Those who don’t know will have to find out by experience that “a quiet conscience gives you strength!”

Yours, Anne M. Frank

SATURDAY, JULY 8, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Mr. Broks was in Beverwijk and managed to get hold of strawberries at the produce auction. They arrived here dusty and full of sand, but in large quantities. No less than twenty-four crates for the office and us. That very same evening we canned the first six jars and made eight jars of jam. The next morning Miep started making jam for the office.

At twelve-thirty the outside door was locked, crates were lugged into the kitchen, with Peter, Father and Mr. van Daan stumbling up the stairs. Anne got hot water from the water heater, Margot”“,went for a bucket, all hands on deck! With a funny feeling in my stomach, I entered the overcrowded office kitchen. Miep, Bep, Mr. Kleiman, Jan, Father, Peter: the Annex contingent and the Supply Corps all mixed up together, and that in the middle of the day! Curtains and windows open, loud voices, banging doors-I was trembling with excitement. I kept thinking, “Are we really in hiding?” This must be how it feels when you can finally go out into the world again. The pan was full, so I dashed upstairs, where the rest of the family was hulling strawberries around the kitchen table. At least that’s what they were supposed to be doing, but more was going into their mouths than into the buckets. They were bound to need another bucket soon. Peter went back downstairs, but then the doorbell rang twice. Leaving the bucket where it was, Peter raced upstairs and shut the bookcase behind him. We sat kicking our heels impatiently; the strawberries were waiting to be rinsed, but we stuck to the house rule: “No running water when strangers are downstairs-they might hear the drains.”

Jan came up at one to tell us it had been the mail- man. Peter hurried downstairs again. Ding-dong. . . the doorbell, about-face. I listened to hear if anyone was coming, standing first at the bookcase, then at the top of the stairs. Finally Peter and I leaned over the banister, straining our ears like a couple of burglars to hear the sounds from downstairs. No unfamthar voices. Peter tip- toed halfway down the stairs and called out, “Bep!”

Once more: “Bep!” His voice was drowned out by the racket in the kitchen. So he ran down to the kitchen while I nervously kept watch from above. “Go upstairs at once, Peter, the accountant’s here, you’ve got to leave!” It was Mr. Kugler’s voice. Sighing, Peter came upstairs and closed the bookcase. Mr. Kugler finally came up at one-thirty. “My gosh, the whole world’s turned to strawberries. I had strawber- ries for breakfast, Jan’s having diem for lunch, Kleiman’s eating them as a snack, Miep’s bothng them, Bep’s hulling them, and I can smell them everywhere I go. I come upstairs to get away from all that red and what do I see? People washing strawberries!”

The rest of the strawberries were canned. That evening: two jars came unsealed. Father quickly turned them into jam. The next morning: two more lids popped up; and that afternoon: four lids. Mr. van Daan hadn’t gotten the jars hot enough when he was sterthzing them, so Father ended up making jam every evening. We ate hot cereal with strawberries, buttermilk with strawberries, bread with strawberries, strawberries for dessert, straw- berries with sugar, strawberries with sand. For two days there was nothing but strawberries, strawberries, strawberries, and then our supply was either exhausted or in jars, safely under lock and key.

“Hey, Anne,” Margot called out one day, “Mrs. van Hoeven has let us have some peas, twenty pounds!”

“That’s nice of her,” I replied. And it certainly was, but it’s so much work. . . ugh!

“On Saturday, you’ve aJI got to shell peas,” Mother announced at the table. And sure enough, this morning after breakfast our biggest enamel pan appeared on the table, filled to the brim with peas. If you think shelling peas is boring work, you ought to try removing the inner linings. I don’t think many people realize that once you’ve pulled out the linings, the pods are soft, delicious and rich in vitamins. But an even greater advantage is that you get nearly three times as much as when you eat just the peas.

Stripping pods is a precise and meticulous job that might be suited to pedantic dentists or finicky spice experts, but it’s a horror for an impatient teenager like me. We started work at nine-thirty; I sat down at ten-thirty, got Up again at eleven, sat down again at eleven-thirty. My ears were humming with the following refrain: snap the end, strip the pod, pull the string, pod in the pan, snap the end, strip the pod, pull the string, pod in the pan, etc., etc. My eyes were swimming: green, green, worm, string, rotten pod, green, green. To fight the boredom and have something to do, I chattered all morn- ing, saying whatever came into my head and making everyone laugh. The monotony was killing me. Every string I pulled made me more certain that I never, ever, want to be just a housewife!

At twelve we finally ate breakfast, but from twelve-thirty to one-fifteen we had to strip pods again. When I stopped, I felt a bit seasick, and so did the others. I napped until four, still in a daze because of those wretched peas. Yours, Anne M. Frank

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