Making Sense of the Diary

January 11, 1911: Missing entry (Diary resumes on January 12)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later: 

The diary entries resume tomorrow. Yeah!!

Since a diary author doesn’t really write the diary for others to read many years later, sometimes it is difficult to understand the context of diary entries.

Also, Grandma was about 40 years younger than me when she began this diary. How might the age differences frame how I interpret what she wrote? Grandma’s diary entries and my reflections and comments are not parallel.  Grandma was a teen jotting down her thoughts—I’m a mother with adult children reflecting on what a 15-year-old said a hundred years previously.   

To help me make sense of the diary I have several questions that I hope to answer as I work my way through the entries—one day at a time.

  • Who are the main people in the diary (“the characters”) and what are their stories? 
  • How does the diary author portray events, relationships, and herself?
  •  Does anything in the diary help me better understand myself? 
  • Can I learn anything about the slower lifestyle of 100 years ago that is still relevant today?

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