In the book The Diary of Anne Frank what does "slow on the uptake" mean?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book The Diary of Anne Frank Anne shows herself to be very "fast on the uptake." From her writing we can see that she is very intelligent, curious and quick to learn and absorb new ideas. With all the characteristic impatience of a bright teen with a keen mind, she seems irritated by Dussel's very different learning style. It is true that teens become very bored and agitated when they have to listen to the same set of instructions or lessons two or three times. We see this often in classrooms. However, there are differing learning styles and being 'slow on the uptake' does not necessarily make a student stupid or dumb. Sometimes it means the opposite - a person who takes care to listen well, record the information and ask for a repeat to check they've got the facts right would be a good person to rely on in an emergency.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Slow on the uptake" is simply a phrase that means that a person is not very quick to understand what he or she is being told.  It is a phrase that is still used in modern English.

Anne Frank uses this line to talk about how Dussel has trouble understanding the "rules" of hiding from the Nazis.  Anne talks about a variety of rules that a person needs to know, like when you are allowed to use the toilet.

She says that Dussel is slow on the uptake and has to have everything repeated to him twice.

Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

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