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The Roots Of The Chaos And The Process Of Change In Etty Hillesum

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Chapter Summary

In an entry of the 27 July 1942, Etty Hillesum wrote, "I knew [. . .] that I would have to undergo many 'transformations' [. . .]". This chapter looks at the early part of the diary of Etty Hillesum, and tries to tease out what that inner 'chaos' and emotional turbulence, which is so much a feature of her early life and the early part of the diary, was all about. In terms of the appeal of Etty Hillesum, we need to recognize that these chaotic beginnings are hugely important, and may be seen as a kind of gift to all those who read her life and story now, for they enable a process of identification to take place. Again and again, she tells of how she finds herself overwhelmed by an emotional chaos which she does not understand but which she is determined to come to grips with.

Keywords: emotional chaos; Etty Hillesum



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