Mother and I had a so-called “discussion” today, but the annoying part is that I burst into tears. I can’t help it. Daddy is always nice to me, and he also understands me much better. At moments like these I can’t stand Mother. It’s obvious that I’m a stranger to her; she doesn’t even know what I think about the most ordinary things.
Anne writes about one of the many fights she has with her mother, Edith, during their stay in the Annex. Even though Anne knows she keeps part of herself hidden from her family, she blames her mother for not understanding her at all. Anne hardly gives her mother a chance to understand her, preferring instead to see Edith as the source of her unhappiness.
Yesterday Mother and I had another run-in and she really kicked up a fuss. She told Daddy all my sins and started to cry, which made me cry too, and I already had such an awful headache. I finally told Daddy that I love “him” more than I do Mother, to which he replied that it was just a passing phase, but I don’t think so.
Anne describes another fight between herself and her mother and reveals that she went so far as to tell her father that she loves him more. Although Anne professes to not care for her mother at all, the fact that she cried in reaction to her mother’s crying hints that perhaps she does not like to see her mother upset. Anne’s father, a peaceful mediator between mother and daughter, wisely comforts Anne with his patient understanding and assurance that what she is experiencing is merely a normal phase.
I felt sorry for Mother—very, very sorry—because for the first time in my life I noticed she wasn’t indifferent to my coldness. I saw the sorrow in her face when she talked about not being able to make me love her.
One night, Edith offers to listen to Anne say her prayers, and Anne rejects her. Edith cries and shouts that she cannot make Anne love her, and Anne, for the first time, feels bad about her treatment toward her mother. Even though Anne thinks that Edith’s harsh words toward her mean Edith does not love her, readers see the pain Anne causes in Edith by rejecting her. Readers may infer that while this mother–daughter tension is quite normal, the disconnect and pain may be intensified by the family’s ordeal.
Of course, Mother took Margot’s side; they always take each other’s sides. I’m so used to it that I’ve become completely indifferent to Mother’s rebukes and Margot’s moodiness.
After Margot and Anne have a fight and Edith defends Margot, Anne feels no surprise. To her, Edith and Margot seem to be one being, inseparable on their opinions and views of Anne. However, what Anne does not see is that Edith is more like Anne than Margot. Edith is willing to speak her mind, much like Anne. Readers might infer that the real reason why Anne and Edith clash is simply because they are so similar.
Despite all my theories and efforts, I miss—every day and every hour of the day—having a mother who understands me. That’s why with everything I do and write, I imagine the kind of mom I’d like to be to my children later on. The kind of mom who doesn’t take everything people say too seriously, but who does take me seriously.
While Anne does not give many concrete reasons for why she and her mother have such a rocky relationship, she repeatedly claims that Edith does not truly understand her, and this situation causes her great pain. Here, she also explains that Edith, like Margot, takes everything a bit too seriously, even Anne, who likes to joke around. If Edith knew Anne a little better, perhaps they would not have fought so often.
Take a Study Break
Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Quote from The Office
Every Book on Your English Syllabus, Summed Up in Marvel Quotes
A Roundup of the Funniest Great Gatsby Memes You'll Ever See
QUIZ: How Many of These Literary Jeopardy! Questions Can You Answer Correctly?
7 "Crazy" Women in Literature Who Were Actually Being Totally Reasonable
Honest Names for All the Books on Your English Syllabus
QUIZ: Are You a Hero, a Villain, or an Anti-Hero?