1) Anne Frank’s Diary is a Work of Fiction
It seems counterintuitive that one of the most celebrated diaries in history could be a work of fiction. The term “diary” implies that the contents include the real life experiences and feelings of its author. The text is expected to be factual. However, it appears that Anne Frank had revised and embellished her diary with the intention of it being published for the public eye.
While it would be extreme to claim that Anne Frank’s beloved diary is a complete work of fiction, it certainly should not be referred to as a historical document. In her memoir, Miep Gies, a Dutch citizen who put her life in danger to hide Anne and her family in their annex, explained an unusual encounter with Anne, as she interrupted the young girl in a writing frenzy. It was one of many instances where Anne was caught in a trance-like state while crafting her diary, rather than spontaneously recording anecdotes of her day.
Anne had noted many times that she dreamed of being a writer and longed for the public to read her work. Soon after beginning her diary she had decided to write it as a book, in diary form, to hopefully publish after the war concluded. “Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a romance of the ‘Secret Annex.’ The title alone would be enough to make people think it was a detective story. But, seriously, it would be quite funny ten years after the war if we Jews were to tell how we lived and what we ate and talked about here.” The original diary was gifted to Anne in June 1942, and shortly after, her entries began. In the spring of 1944, after making the executive decision that it was no longer to be for her eyes only, she revised the entire book, while continuing to add new entries.
It may be upsetting to many to claim that not all of Anne’s writing is truthful, as she suffered through the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust. Nevertheless, the remarkable writing itself should be respected as a fine piece of literature. Anne wrote with an overwhelmingly mature voice that thoroughly convinces the reader that it is simply an innocent and spontaneous diary of a teenage girl. Anne certainly should be recognized as the gifted writer that she was.
It seems counterintuitive that something as superficial as the way one parts one’s hair could be a highly defining factor in determining one’s identity. The Hair Part Theory is the concept that an individual dominant in the analytical and logical skills of the left-hemisphere brain function will wear a left side hair part, while a right side hair part would be visible on an individual who excels in right-hemisphere brain function, predominantly imagination and emotional abilities. It is absurd that such a theory exists, as it is impossible to conclude this vast amount of information about a person by analyzing the part in their hair that may very likely change depending on their hairstyle for the day. Furthermore, some supporters of the theory claim that the left side part has developed a reputation to be a masculine feature and the right side part has become more associated with femininity. Making such a claim implies that the average observer may consciously take note that an individual with a left side part, despite their gender, exhibits a masculine presence, which is highly unlikely.
Those in favor of the theory believe that many prominent public figures have supported this thesis. The strong-willed Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton, women certainly not known for their glamour or femininity, both validate the Hair Part Theory with their left side parts. Men such as Lou Gehrig and Laurence Olivier, individuals who were known publicly for their sensitive natures, have also served as evidence to the theory with their right side parts. While these examples may align with the theory, it is likely that they are simply coincidental and great conclusions should not be drawn from them. Another popular example, those who advocate for the Hair Part Theory suggest, is that of Superman and Clark Kent, claiming that even Superman, the epitome of masculinity, has a left side part, while his mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent has a right side part. However, it is much more logical that the creator of Superman merely intended to have stark differences between the characters’ two personas and any alignment to the theory is once again by chance.
The Hair Part theory reinforces stereotypes that have been embedded in society for centuries—that a trivial aspect of one’s appearance can account for a great deal of their personality. While evidence of this theory may prove the contrary in some cases, it is presumptuous to claim that it can be universally applied to all. Overall, it is counterintuitive to perpetuate this absurd theory that ultimately contradicts everything for which society is striving, regarding acceptance and inclusivity.
3) Do Multivitamins Make You Sick?
It seems counterintuitive that a multivitamin labelled to improve your health could actually inflict an illness. However, studies have shown that the majority of individuals who consume vitamins on a daily basis already receive adequate nutrients from their food intake, resulting in a surplus of the vitamin from the supplement. Certain vitamins when taken in excess, can actually increase one’s risk of developing a disease. For instance, studies have linked an excessive amount of folic acid to heart disease and the retinol form of vitamin A to birth defects, among many other afflictions. One may question why these possible risks are not clearly labelled for the consumer to consider before purchasing.
While daily vitamins are not necessary for the popular majority, there are particular people that do benefit from specific vitamins. Alcoholics may benefit from a folic acid supplement due to the fact that alcohol blocks folic acid from absorption. It is suggested that people following a plant-based diet should take a B12 supplement, as animals are the main source of the nutrient. Apart from distinct scenarios that vary from person to person, the average individual does not need exorbitant amounts of daily vitamins compacted into a small supplement.
The true beneficiaries of the daily vitamin are not those who take it, but those who work in the $28 billion dollar industry. It is no coincidence that the Food and Drug Administration, pressured by political figures, does not require vitamins to have labels explaining the possible risks that come from exceeding the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients, as that would not aid in their marketing of keeping the consumer “healthy.” Parents may be hesitant to feed their child vitamins each morning, if they were aware that each gummy surpasses the upper daily intake limits of vitamin A and zinc. If authentic information was presented to users, many would abandon their daily multivitamin, as these vitamins clearly do not aid in making people healthier, but rather line the pockets of politicians and executives.
I love the Hair Part Theory example, Strawberries, so I’m going to concentrate my attention on that summary. My usual practice is to provide feedback for just one of the three of these little exercises and count on you to apply the lessons to the other two without specific notes from me. Let’s see if that works.
The Hair Part Theory
Your first paragraph is highly capable and contains a beautifully-constructed long sentence at its core. Such a long sentence does present some potential confusions, though. For example, the subject of your verb “focusing on” is apparently “hair part,” which would mean that the part focuses on analytical skills. Clearly that’s not what you mean. Those participles (focusing, involving) are pretty squirmy. My other observation is that I know nobody who would consciously recognize that a left side part is masculine. A “reputation” is usually conscious. I’m not sure how to phrase what you’re suggesting: that a left hair part sends a subliminal message.
I should also mention that I don’t know yet whether you accept or reject the Hair Part Theory. Calling it counterintuitive doesn’t indicate either way. You run the risk of convincing your readers of the value of the theory before you reject it for them, if that’s your plan. Never give your readers a chance to get ahead of you.
When you say,
you haven’t declared which of several possibilities you support:
1. Thatcher and Clinton “support” the thesis by believing in it and being public with their support.
2. Thatcher and Clinton, by being women in traditionally “male” roles, provide evidence for the notion that people perceive them to be more “capable.”
3. Thatcher and Clinton, believers in the power of hair parts to send subliminal messages, chose left hair part as part of their public strategy.
Superman/Clark Kent is a different sort of example. A comic-book artist made a very deliberate choice to graphically express two sides of one person’s nature. Which side he chose for which might have been accidental or deliberate. Your observation doesn’t indicate either way what you think about either the strategy or the validity of the theory.
In other words, two paragraphs in, we STILL don’t know your position on this topic. That’s not sound strategy.
Now you tell us:
This sounds very clear, but it actually isn’t. As with Thatcher and Clinton, you could mean several things.
1. Whoever came up with this silly theory is making WAY TOO MUCH of some casual anecdotal observations. Nobody parts her hair on the left BECAUSE she’s MASCULINE.
2. Nobody observing a person with a left hair part could possibly conclude anything (consciously or unconsciously) about that person’s nature.
3. Like most theories about behavior, the Hair Part Theory draws too many conclusions from a few examples.
Your objection to the theory, finally revealed in the last sentences, appears to be moral, Strawberry. You may certainly react this way, but it’s probably not fruitful to complain that someone has made observations you don’t buy. I don’t think anyone is indoctrinating a generation to change their hair part strategically (or disingenuously).
You should make clear whether you consider the theory absurd because:
1. because it’s simply silly to believe that a person reveals character through a hair part.
2. because it’s simple silly to believe that a person RECEIVES CHARACTER SIGNALS from trivial details such as a hair part.
Those are very different objections. Which do you think the author of the Hair Part Theory would subscribe to?
I hope you’ll revise this post (all three summaries) with the help(?) of this feedback, Strawberry. But even if you don’t, I’ll expect you to respond so I’ll know you value the process.
Thank you so much for your feedback. It is extremely helpful. I will revise and resubmit it tomorrow.
Terrific. When you revise, you may return your post to the Feedback Please category if you ask specific feedback questions.
Your Diary entry is one of the best Purposeful Summaries I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I would quibble repeatedly about the Diary’s historical accuracy. We don’t doubt that the families took shelter, or why, or believe that they were over-reacting. Historically, the book seems accurate enough. But Frank’s impressions of the other hiders, of herself, of the psychology of their reactions, and the artistic effects she chose to deploy, clearly went through drafts.