Imagine that Mrs Dorling, from The Address by Marga Minco, writes a letter to her sister, explaining why she took the belongings of Mrs S and how she felt when the daughter came to her house. Write this letter, as Mrs Dorling, in about 120 words.
Answer as written by the student:
I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. I am writing to you to tell you something that has been bothering me for a long time. You may remember that during the war, I took some belongings of Mrs S, a Jewish woman who lived in our neighbourhood. She was an old acquaintance of mine, and she asked me to keep her things safe until the war was over. She gave me her address and told me to contact her daughter if anything happened to her.
I agreed to take her things, but not out of kindness or sympathy. I did it because I wanted to have them for myself. I liked her furniture, her silverware, her paintings, and her clothes. I thought they would make my house look more elegant and comfortable. I did not care about her or her family. I knew they would be taken away by the Nazis and probably killed. I did not think they would ever come back to claim their things.
But I was wrong. A few days ago, her daughter came to my house. She knocked on my door and said she was Mrs S’s daughter. She recognized me and asked me if I knew her. I pretended not to know her or her mother. I tried to get rid of her, but she insisted on seeing her mother’s things. She said she had the address and she wanted to take them back.
I was shocked and scared. I did not want to give up the things that I had taken. I did not want to admit that I had lied and cheated. I did not want to face the truth that I had been selfish and cruel. I did not want to see the pain and anger in her eyes. I did not want to feel any guilt or remorse.
So I closed the door on her. I told her to go away and never come back. I hoped she would leave me alone. But she did not. She came back again the next day. This time, she managed to get inside my house. She saw her mother’s things in my living room. She looked around and recognized everything. She was shocked and hurt. She asked me why I had done this. She asked me how I could live with myself.
I did not answer her. I did not know what to say. I felt ashamed and exposed. I wished she would disappear. I wished I could erase everything that had happened. But I could not. She was there, in front of me, reminding me of my sins. She was there, in front of me, demanding justice.
She did not take anything with her. She left everything behind. She said she did not want them anymore. She said they meant nothing to her. She said they could not bring her mother back. She said she would forget the address and never come back.
She left me alone. But she did not leave me in peace. She left me with a burden of guilt and regret. She left me with a question that I cannot answer. She left me with a doubt that I cannot escape.
How can I live with myself?
Step-by-step explanation of the answer:
To write this letter, as Mrs Dorling, we need to follow these steps:
- First, we need to introduce the purpose of the letter and the main topic, which is the belongings of Mrs S that Mrs Dorling took during the war. We need to use a formal and polite tone, as we are writing to our sister. We can start with a greeting, then we can state the reason for writing , such as “I am writing to you to tell you something that has been bothering me for a long time.” 📝
- Next, we need to provide some background information about Mrs S and how we got her things. We need to explain who she was, how we knew her, and what she asked us to do.🙅♀️
- Then, we need to describe what happened when her daughter came to our house. We need to narrate the events in chronological order, using the past tense. 😱
- After that, we need to express how we felt when she saw her mother’s things in our living room.😔
- Finally, we need to conclude the letter by stating what she did and how she left us. 😢