Dear Diary

     This was found in a copy of Henry James's 1880 Washington Square, which was turned into a film, The Heiress, directed in 1949 by William Wyler, and starring Olivia de Havilland as Catherine Sloper, Ralph Richardson as Dr. Sloper, and Montgomery Clift as Morris Townsend.

Catherine's last diary entry:

Dear Diary,

     I regret to inform you, diary, that this is more than likely going to be my last entry. You've been my one true companion for as long as I can remember; that is why I feel that my final thoughts should be left with you and no other. I am an old woman now. I've outlived all of my immediate family and feel that my days are numbered.

     My days as a young woman were spent wishing for the approval from my father that was never granted to me. I would have done anything for that man, but nothing was ever good enough. I pray everyday that, when I die, my mother will be there to explain to me what she did to please him so and to make him long for her daily. Over the years I have learned that I could never be angry with her for leaving such a hard example to follow, only that I should be what it is in me to be. These years have also taught me forgiveness towards my father. While the years of confusion after my mother's death only left him bitter, I realize now that, while he never saw me as anything much, he loved me in his own way. It pains my heart to know the grief I caused him in his last years, especially after I learned the truth about Morris. I only hope that he has forgiven me.

     When it comes to pains of the heart, I know mine has suffered. While my tears for Morris stopped many years ago, I do think of him often and wonder where he is, but any love I once held for him is gone. I will never understand how a person could lie so easily and freely to a person he claims to love. It is my opinion that he never loved my at all. I did love only him. That is why I am dying here on Washington Square alone. I pray for whoever finds this diary will have the courage I lacked my entire life to go out and search for true love and not fall for the first person that arrives at his or her door. That is what daddy wished, and now what I would wish for myself if ever I had the chance to do it all over again.


Ginny L. Snow

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