The Diary of Anne Frank: Free Study Guide - Free BookNotes/Analysis|
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Anne spends time reminiscing about her blissful past before the war. She thinks of her happy schooldays and regrets that they are “gone forever.” Realizing how suddenly life can switch, she tries to patch things up with her sister, Margot, even though she worries that her sister also clamors for Peter’s attention. She also tries to argue less with the other occupants of the annex, while still resenting the fact they treat her like such a child. She often wonders, “When shall I find peace and rest within myself again?”
Anne is finally brave enough to talk to Margot about Peter. Her sister reassures her that Peter is not her sweetheart. Anne is happy to learn that Margot is not her rival, and their relationship improves further. In contrast to Anne’s happier mood, the living conditions in the annex deteriorate. The air raids have increased, causing constant fear amongst all the residents of the annex. In addition, Koophuis, Miep, and Elli can no longer provide regular supplies, for rations are being strictly enforced and prices are sky high. As a result, the group literally eats rotten potatoes in order to survive. On April 3, the ever optimistic Anne writes, “We are still alive, and quite often we even enjoy our poor meals.”
During a calm period for Anne, she dares to think about her future. Since she loves the Dutch people, she wants to stay in Holland after the war. She also wants to become an independent woman with a job, not just a housewife and mother. In fact, she expresses an interest in becoming a writer or a journalist, saying she is a good critic of her own work. She even thinks about publishing her diary after the war and writes, “It would seem quite funny ten years after the war if we Jews were to tell how we lived and what we ate and talked about here.” It is ironic that this book does exactly that.
Anne also tells of her love of history and how she is enjoying tracing her
family tree. Her sense of peace, however, is interrupted by a burglary
in the office building, which she describes in detail. The occupants of
the annex must hide in silence for hours. All the while, they are fearful
of being discovered as the police investigate, but the faithful Henk,
Kraler, and Miep protect them. They escape one more close encounter. Anne
believes that each incident makes her stronger.
The most obvious aspect of these entries is the process of Anne’s maturing. She acknowledges her own sexuality and the interest she has in males. She writes, “I’m glad after all that the van Daans have a son and not a doughtier; my conquest could never have been so difficult, so beautiful, so good, if I had not happened to hit on someone of the opposite sex. With these thoughts on her mind, Anne seeks out Peter’s company, finds herself happy in his presence, and records the details of their encounters. On March 3, she writes that she is “pretty near to being in love with him.” Fearing her sister also cares for Peter, she is mature enough to discuss the situation with Margot and is relieved to find out that she has no interest in him.
Brightened by her relationship with Peter, Anne tries diligently to control her behavior, struggling to fight less with her mother and the other occupants of the annex. The residents all notice that she is less emotional and more rational. Anne also tries to be positive about an end to the war. She even dares to think about her future, deciding she will be a writer or a journalist, not just a housewife and mother.
Anne reflects on how she has changed in the annex. She remembers that at first
she felt that being in hiding was almost like a vacation. Then resentment
set in when she realized she could not escape the cramped quarters or
the constant bickering amongst the occupants. As the war dragged on and
the fighting entered Holland, her fear and depression increased. Then
she began to mature, both physically and emotionally, learning how to
control her outbursts and emotions. Now Anne tries to be stoic about her
situation. She acknowledges that the happy, carefree existence of her
schooldays can never return; she even criticizes her earlier self as being
superficial and empty. She also understands that she can do little to
control whether she lives or dies. In the interim, she tries to notice
more about life. She looks out the attic window and notices the chestnut
trees and the birds in the blue sky. Although she longs to go outside
herself, she accepts that it is presently impossible. She is also resigned
to the pitiful living conditions. Since rations are being strictly enforced
and prices have increased drastically, their Dutch protectors are no longer
able to give the group regular supplies. They often eat rotten potatoes
in order to survive. Anne, still trying to be optimistic, says she sometimes
enjoys the meals. It is obvious that she had greatly changed during her
two years in the annex. She has become an accepting young woman rather
than a spoiled child.
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. 09 May 2017