From the Diary of Anne Frank
ORAL COMPREHENSION CHECK
What makes writing in a diary a strange experience for Anne Frank ?
Two reasons make writing in a diary a strange experience. One, she has never written anything before. Second, perhaps no one will be interested in the thoughts of a thirteen- year-old school girl.
Why does Anne want to keep a diary ? (CBSE 2012)
Anne wants to keep a diary because she had hardly any friends to confide in. Secondly, she can’t talk about day-to-day happenings. In keeping a diary she would do so.
Why did Anne think she could confide more in her diary than in people ?
Anne thought so because she doesn’t have a true friend to confide in. She treats the diary not to use it the way most people use. But she would treat it as her best friend. Then diary would be closer than any friend.
ORAL COMPREHENSION CHECK
Why does Anne provide a brief sketch of her life ?
Anne provides a brief sketch of her life. She feels that no one would understand her stories in her diary if she did not write about her life.
What tells you that Annq loved her grandmother ?
She loved her grandmother. It was because her parents went to Holland leaving her with her grandmother in Aachen. Her sister Margot also lived with her. Then she lived with her till she was six.
ORAL COMPREHENSION CHECK
Why was Mr. Keesing annoyed with Anne ? What did he ask her to do ? (CBSE 2012)
Mr. Keesing taught Mathematics to the author’s class. He was annoyed with Anne. It was because she talked so much. He warned her several times. But she couldn’t stop talking. She continued talking. He even gave her extra homework. But she still talked and talked.
After several warnings he gave her an essay on the subject ‘A Chatterbox’.
How did Anne justify her being a chatterbox in her essay ?
In her essay she justified so by stating that talking was a student’s trait. She would do her best to cure herself of the habit. Her mother talked as much as she did if not more. Nothing could be done about inherited traits.
Do you think Mr. Keesing was a strict teacher ? (CBSE 2012)
Mr. Keesing was not a strict teacher. In fact, he was a jovial kind of teacher. He was interested more that students should be taught practically.
What made Mr. Keesing allow Anne to talk in class ?
Mr. Keesing allowed Anne to talk in the class after the joke Anne had played on him. He took Anne’s joke in right spirit. He read the poem to the class adding his own comments. He read it to several classes as well.
THINKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Was Anne right when she said that the world would not be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old girl ?
Yes, Anne was right in saying so. It was because the world usually is interested in reading things of great men. They may be politicians, statesmen or heavyweights in other fields of life.
There are some examples of diary or journal entries in the ‘Before You Read’ section. Compare these with what Anne writes in her diary. What language was the diary originally written in ? In what way is Anne’s diary different ?
Anne mixes her diary writing with a few things of journals or memoirs. She uses her own genre of writing her diary. Her diary was written originally in Dutch language. It is different as it doesn’t follow the appropriate format. It is a mix of a journal, memoir, diary and log.
Why does Anne need to give a brief sketch about her family ? Does she treat ‘Kitty’ as an insider or an outsider ?
Anne needs to give a brief sketch about her family. Without it no one will be interested in reading a diary of a small girl. She treats ‘Kitty’ as diary as an insider only.
How does Anne feel about her father, her grandmother, Mrs. Kuperus and Mr. Keesing ? What do these tell you about her ?
Anne looks at her parents ‘adorable’. She is all love for her grandmother. She feels equally for her headmistress Mrs. Kuperus. She was in tears when Mrs. Kuperus was bidden farewell. She also loves her teacher Mr. Keesing though she calls him ‘old fogey’. These tell that she is an affectionate girl.
What does Anne write in her first essay ?
Anne writes in her first essay that talking is a student’s trait. She would do her best to keep talking under control. Her mother also talked much. She had inherited this trait from her mother. Not much can be done about inherited traits.
Anne says teachers are most unpredictable. Is Mr. Keesing unpredictable ? How ? (CBSE 2012)
Mr. Keesing is unpredictable. He gives and gives homework to Anne as a punishment. She does it as rightly as she can. She hopes that after the last essay, Mr. Keesing would give her homework again. But instead he allows Anne to talk in the class. He also doesn’t give her homework again.
What do these statements tell you about Anne Frank as a person ?
- We don’t seem to be able to get any closer, and that’s the problem. Maybe it’s my fault that we don’t confide in each other.
- I don’t want to jot down the facts in this diary the way most people would, but I want the diary to be my friend.
- Margot went to Holland in December, and I followed in February, when f was plunked down on the table as a birthday present for Margot.
- If you ask me, there are so many dummies that about a quarter of the class should be kept back, but teachers are the most unpredictable creatures on earth.
- Anyone could ramble on and leave big spaces between the words, but the trick was to come up with convincing arguments to prove the necessity of talking.
- Anne is reserved
- She is self-confident and inventive
- She is humorous also.
- She is intelligent
- She has a sense of propriety and convincingness.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
I. Look at the following words.
These words are compound words. They are made up of two or more words. Compound words can be :
- nouns : headmistress, homework, notebook, outbursts
- adjectives : long-awaited, stiff-backed
- verbs : sleep-walk, baby-sit
Match the compound words under ‘A’ with their meanings under ‘B’ Use each in a sentence.
|1. Heartbreaking||— obeying and respecting the law|
|2. Homesick||— think about pleasant things, forgetting about the present|
|3. Blockhead||— something produced by a person, machine or organisation|
|4. Law-abiding||— producing great sadness|
|5. Overdo||— an occasion when vehicles/machines stop working|
|6. Daydream||— an informal word which means a very stupid person|
|7. Breakdown||— missing home and family very much|
|8. Output||— do something to an excessive degree|
- = (iv)
- = (vii)
- = (vi)
- = (t)
- = (viii)
- = (ii)
- = (v)
- = (iii)
Use in Sentences
- The news of her mother’s death is heart-breaking.
- The soldiers get homesick on festive occasions.
- You can not mend the ways of a blockhead.
- Even the protectors of law are not law-abiding.
- Don’t overdo the salt in the food.
- Daydreaming does not prove fruitful in the long run.
- Our car had a breakdown and a mechanic was called.
- The manufacturing output has increased recently.
II. Phrasal Verbs
1. The text you’ve just read has a number of phrasal verbs commonly used in English. Look up the following in a dictionary for their meanings (under the entry for the italicised word). (Page 56)
- plunge (right) in
- kept back
- ramble on
- get along with
2. Now find the sentences in the lesson that have the phrasal verbs given below. Match them with their meanings. (You have already found out the meanings for some of them.) Are their meanings the same as that of their parts ? (Note that two parts of a phrasal verb may occur separated in the text.)
- plunge in (a) speak or write without focus
- kept back (b) stay indoors
- move up (c) make (them) remain quiet
- ramble on (d) have a good relationship with
- get along with (e) give an assignment (homework) to a person in authority (the teacher)
- calm down (f) compensate
- stay in (g) go straight to the topic
- make up for (h) go to the next grade
- hand in (i) not promoted
- → (g)
- → (i)
- → (h)
- → (a)
- → (d)
- → (c)
- → (b)
- → (f)
- → (e)
Idioms are groups of words with a fixed order, and a particular meaning, different from the meanings of each of their words put together. (Phrasal verbs can also be idioms ; they are said to be ‘idiomatic’ when their meaning is unpredictable.) For example, do you know what it means to ‘meet one’s match’ in English ? It means to meet someone who is as good as oneself, or even better, in some skill or quality. Do you know what it means to ‘let the cat out of the bag’ ? Can you guess ?
1. Here are a few sentences from the text which have idiomatic expressions. Can you say what each means ? (You might want to consult a dictionary first.)
- Our entire class is quaking in its boots
- Until then, we keep telling each other not to lose heart
- Mr Keesing was annoyed with me for ages because I talked so much
- Mr Keesing was trying to play a joke on me with this ridiculous subject, but I’d make sure the joke was on him
2. Here are a few other idiomatic expressions that occur in the text. Try to use them in sentences of your own.
- caught my eye
- he’d had enough
- laugh ourselves silly
- can’t bring myself to
‘Let the cat out of the bag’ means ‘let the reality come out’.
- Our entire class is talking and talking too much.
- Until then, we keep telling each other that we should not feel discouraged.
- Mr. Keesing was annoyed with me for a very long period.
- Mr. Keesing was trying to play a joke on me with this ridiculous subject, but I’d make sure that the joke would be on him only.
- The thief had nearly escaped but his mask caught my eye.
- We had had enough of Goa ; so we came the next day.
- We laughed ourselves silly when our joke recoiled on us.
- I can’t bring myself to understand that you stole my purse.
Now you know what a diary is and how to keep one. Can you keep a diary for a week recording the events that occur ? You may share your diary with your class, if you wish to. Use the following hints to write your diary.
- Though your diary is very pnvate, write as if you are writing for someone else.
- Present your thoughts in a convincing manner.
- Use words that convey your feelings, and words that ‘paint pictures’ for the reader. Be brief.
‘Diary language’ has some typical features such as subjectless sentences (Got up late in the morning), sentence fragments without subjects or verbs (…too bad, boring, not good), contracted forms (they’re, I’ve, can’t, didn’t, etc.), and everyday expressions which people use in speech. Remember not to use such language in more formal kinds of writing.
Yes, I can keep a diary for a week. In fact, I have a diary of my own. I write it whenever I have a liking for it. Yesterday I wrote a page. It goes like this :
Class teacher distributed answer books of Dec. test. Was feeling nervous. Legs were shaking. Heart beat before I’s given my AB. Had expected very good marks. Was second. Checked where I’d got less marks. Went to teacher with AB. Asked he’d given less marks to one question. Made me see that he’d checked the AB with seriousness. Shall work hard and get more marks next time …
Note: Students shall see that the above entry has all that is referred to in the above question.
Your teacher will read out the following extract from The Diary of Samuel Pepys (given on the next page) about the great fire of London ! As you listen complete this summary of the happenings.
This entry in the diary has been made on (a) ………………. by (b) ………………. The person who told Pepys about the fire was called (c) ………………. She called at (d) ………………. in the morning. Pepys went back to sleep because (e) ………………. Pepys rose again at (f) ………………. in the morning. By then about (g) ………………. houses had been burned down. The fire had spread to (h) ………………. by London Bridge. Pepys then walked to the (i) ………………. along with Sir J. Robinson’s (j) ……………….
(a) September 2nd (Lord’s Day)
(b) Samuel Pepys
(d) about three
(e) the fire was on the backside of Marke-Lane at the farthest
(h) all fish market
(j) little son