Saturday, 22 January 1944 NAME: Dear Kitty: I wonder whether you can tell me why it is that people always try so hard to hide their real feelings? How is it that I always behave quite differently from what I should in other people’s company? Why do we trust one another so little? I know there must be a reason, but still I sometimes think it’s horrible that you find you can never really confide in people, even in those who are nearest to you. It seems as if I’ve grown up a lot since my dream the other night. I’m much more of an “independent being.” You’ll certainly be amazed when I tell you that even my attitude towards the Van Daans has changed. I suddenly see all the arguments and the rest of it in a different light, and am not as prejudiced as I was. How can I have changed so much? Yes, you see it suddenly struck me that if Mummy had been different, a real Mumsie, the relationship might have been quite, quite different. It’s true that Mrs. Van Daan is by no means a nice person, but still I do think that half the quarrels could be avoided if it weren’t for the fact that when the conversations gets tricky Mummy is a bit difficult too. Mrs. Van Daan has one good side, and that is that you can talk to her. Despite all her selfishness, stinginess, and underhandedness, you can make her give in easily, as long as you don’t irritate her and get on the wrong side of her. This way doesn’t work every time, but if you have patience you can try again and see how far you get. All the problems of our “upbringing,” of our being spoiled, the food--it could have been quite different if we’d remain perfectly open and friendly, and not always only on the lookout for something to seize on. I know exactly what you’ll say, Kitty: “But, Anne, do these words really come from your lips? From you, who have had to listen to so many harsh words from the people upstairs, for you, the girl who has suffered so many injustices?” And yet they come from me. I want to start fresh and try to get to the bottom of it all, not be like the saying, “the young always follow a bad example.” I want to examine the whole matter carefully myself and find out what is true and what is exaggerated. Then if I myself am disappointed in them, I can adopt the same line as Mummy and Daddy; if not, I shall try first of all to make them alter their ideas and if I don’t succeed I shall stick to my own opinions and judgment. I shall seize every opportunity to discuss openly all our points of argument with Mrs. Van Daan and not be afraid of declaring myself neutral, even at the cost of being called a “know-all.” It is not that I shall be going against my own family, but from today there will be no more unkind gossip on my part. Until now I was immovable! I always thought the Van Daans were in the wrong, but we too are partly to blame. We have certainly been right over the subject matter; but handling of others from intelligent people (which we consider ourselves to be!) one expects more insight. I hope that I have acquired a bit of insight and will use it well when the occasion arises. Yours, Anne Write a letter to Anne responding to her two questions: I wonder whether you can tell me why it is that people always try so hard to hide their real feelings? How is it that I always behave quite differently from what I should in other people’s company?