Title: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank
Description: The diary Anne Frank kept during the 25 months she and her family were in hiding. It’s remarkable to get to see her evolve on the page, initially overly concerned with interpersonal squabbles, and eventually starting to blossom and become her own person, with more in-depth thoughts of her deeper self.
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. . . the young are not afraid of telling the truth.
—introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt
I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I—nor for that matter anyone else—will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.
And now I come to the root of the matter, the reason for my starting a diary: it is that I have no such real friend.
Let me put it more clearly, since no one will believe that a girl of thirteen feels herself quite alone in the world, nor is it so. I have darling parents and a sister of sixteen. I know about thirty people whom one might call friends—I have strings of boy friends, anxious to catch a glimpse of me and who, failing that, peep at me through mirrors in class. I have relations, aunts and uncles, who are darlings too, a good home, no—I don’t seem to lack anything. But it’s the same with all my friends, just fun and joking, nothing more. I can never bring myself to talk of anything outside the common round. We don’t seem to be able to get any closer, that is the root of the trouble. Perhaps I lack confidence, but anyway, there is it, a stubborn fact and I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.
Hence, this diary. In order to enhance in my mind’s eye the picture of the friend for whom I have waited to long, I don’t want to set down a series of bald facts in a diary like most people do, but I want this diary itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty.
I hardly had time to think about the great change in my life until Wednesday. Then I had a chance, for the first time since our arrival, to tell you all about it, and at the same time to realize myself what had actually happened to me and what was still going to happen.
I expect you will be interested to hear what it feels like to “disappear;” well, all I can say is that I don’t know myself yet. I don’t think I shall ever feel really at home in this house . . .
I can’t tell you how oppressive it is never to be able to go outdoors . . .
Why do grownups quarrel so easily, so much, and over the most idiotic things? Up till now I thought that only children squabbled and that that wore off as you grew up. Of course, there is sometimes a real reason for a quarrel, but this is just plain bickering.
Anyhow, I’ve learned one thing now. You only really get to know people when you’ve had a jolly good row with them. Then and then only can you judge their true characters!
I am always making resolutions not to notice Mummy’s bad example. I want to see only the good side of her and to seek in myself what I cannot find in her.
Sometimes I believe that God wants to try me, both now and later on; I must become good through my own efforts, without examples and without good advice. Then later on I shall be all the stronger. Who besides me will ever read these letters? From whom but myself shall I get comfort? As I need comforting often, I frequently feel weak, and dissatisfied with myself; my shortcomings are too great. I know this, and every day I try to improve myself, again and again.
I’m not a baby or a spoiled darling anymore, to be laughed at, whatever she does. I have my own views, plans, and ideas, though I can’t put them into words yet. Oh, so many things bubble up inside me as I lie in bed, having to put up with people I’m fed up with, who always misinterpret my intentions. That’s why in the end I always come back to my diary. That is where I start and finish, because Kitty is always patient. I’ll promise her that I shall persevere, in spite of everything, and find my own way through it all, and swallow my tears. I only wish I could see the results already or occasionally receive encouragement from someone who loves me.