My Hero: Anne Frank
Anne Frank wrote her first diary entry, addressed to an imaginary friend named kitty “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support”
Anne’s family and the other Jewish people they lived with, salmost did not step outside the secret Annex for more than 2 years. She wrote extensive daily entries in her diary to pass the time. This would require extreme patience, the eight members in the household could barely move from 8:30am to 6:30pm, so no one could hear them from below.
Anne Frank inspires me for many reasons. Her personality was strong, which in turn allowed her to show great bravery in life. To be able to sit in bed at night and hear the sirens, taking away friends and family, and hearing the bombs and explosions as the war raged around. To handle all of that and still live a ‘semi’- normal life (as recorded in her diary) proved that she was a very brave young woman.
She was the type of person who always looked on the bright side of life. Even when she was in hiding, she never doubted the fact that she would get out of the war alive. She is influential to me because I see her as a hero in my eyes, she was optimistic, patient, unselfish and strong. For most she is someone to look up to, especially for me.
37 years ago the world watched Diana, a young, beautiful school teacher marry the charming heir to the British throne, Prince Charles. This started a new age for the British Monarchy, so long the outdated traditions and the lifeless personages. People watched in delight as the princess attended her official duties with style and grace that stood in contrast to the formal approach of other royal family members.
When the ‘perfect’ marriage between Prince Charles and Diana began to show some cracks, their conflicts were widely reported in the media. In 1996 the world’s most famous marriage ended in divorce. While remaining a supportive and loving mother to William and Harry, Diana championed a number of charitable causes, including homelessness and aids awareness. She focused her attention on the worldwide menace of landmines.
Review of the Anne Frank’s Diary
Anne Frank’s diary is widely read. And even those who have never read it probably recognize few quotes from it. The most heard of may be Anne’s observation: “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart”. Anne Frank is correct, as everyone does have some sense of good in their heart, and that people will do good for something. Anne Frank says “In spite of everything”, and even if there are bad circumstances, people will do good things.
“This morning our vegetable man was picked up for having two Jews in his house”. Page #239 of Anne’s Diary
The vegetable man was a not a Jew, but helped Jews, despite the circumstances. And it relates to Anne’s claim because she says “in spite of everything, and the vegetable man did all that he can to help. He did a good deed from the heart.
Miep Gies also helps people, particularly the people in the Secret Annexe. An she did it despite the circumstances as well. She befriended Anne, and she tried very hard to help the people in the Secret Annexe. “The camps had decent sufficient food (bearing in mind it was war time), they had theaters, swimming pools, football pitches, post offices where inmates could communicate to the outside world, kindergartens, art and music recreation”
“Something had to be done with these destructive anti-social Jews who were strangling Germany”. Thought Hitler. Germany had lost a lot from Jews, and wanted to do something about it. So, he created containment camps to ease it out. And again, Hitler wanted to help his country, which would be considered as a good deed. And in some ways, it was ethical, because according to The Greatest Story Never Told, the camps had many things to make it livable. Considering what Hitler has done, isn’t it odd for him to do something like this? It could only mean that he wasn’t the super ruthless person we know him for. He had a sense of good, and it showed.
Despite the evidence and explanation given so far, some people may still conclude that Anne’s statement is incorrect. They might argue that the Nazi’s killed without conscious. This point of view makes some sense because the Nazis were brutal. This argument and evidence, however, does not prove Anne incorrect because many soldiers were actual good people, but their will bended. And just as Anne saying “in spite of everything” a lot of soldiers helped out and even befriended the people in the concentration camps, and if the soldiers were caught, they would get punished. Saying that all the Nazis killed without any conscious wouldn’t make sense because a lot of the Nazis were really just following orders. Therefore, Anne Frank is correct, as everyone does have some sense of good in their heart, and that people will do good for something. Anne Frank says “In spite of everything”, and even if there are bad circumstances, people will do good things.
Why Refugees should be Accepted?
After World War II, the United Nations was instituted and one of their tasks was to set up universal regulations and laws to define the status and rights of refugees.
The U.N. High Commission for Refugees organized in 1951 received a three-year mandate to solve postwar refugee problems and was renewed thereafter for five-year periods. Nevertheless, new scope of responsibilities, definitions and restrictions followed with the institution of new conventions and proposals. As of today, the number of refugees remains at an increasing rate and laws have never been stricter and tougher. The refugee crisis remains an ongoing and delicate issue. It encompasses a global predicament that leaves humanity physically and emotionally scarred. Laws that deal with refugee issues are firmer and concerning from different political groups. There were so many real and reel concerns that has been raised and the negative reactions from different nations has become contagious.
Throughout history, acceptance of refugees revolved around issues of morality, economics, security and political delineations. We have yet to bypass these obstacles to continue to preserve the unity that has once been restored.
Anne Frank is an ordinary girl living her prime as a teenager in a place that other girls of her age would never imagine to be; a place void of fun, dignity, freedom and normalcy. In spite of the living situation she and her family is in, Anne kept abreast of the horror outside of the four walls of the hidden annex and put her perception and unfaltering hope into writing. The diary that was given to her as a gift on her 13th birthday linked the dreads and fears of her own and the outside world during her time. She hang on to that flicker of hope that someday, it will all come to pass. Little did anyone know that a thirteen year old girl will turn out to be a representation of a universal message and her diary an instrument of appeal for equality in dignity and acceptance of each other regardless of our differences.
One would have thought after witnessing and/or reading about the horrors of the one of the most devastating part of history, that the world has learned its lesson. The holocaust may now be a thing of the past, a part of history; however, there still are many “Anne Frank and her family” in different parts of the world being judged, discriminated upon and maltreated. Desperately trying to search for humane treatment, they chose to seek shelter in other nations hoping for a newfound home. Anne Frank’s legacy through her diary stirred an awakening on one of the most distressing part in history and a reflection on how we can make a change to prevent its recurrence. Anne Frank finds freedom in her diary. It is in her writings that silence is broken and autonomy sets in. Reading between the lines, one can find a soulful account of the joy, fear, hope, desperation and a plea.
Anne Frank’s story calls for respect to dignity and equality. Having the courage to face our fears will set the trend in breaking the stigma attached to the refugees. No one ever has to face being judged and discriminated upon based on gender, race, beliefs and faith. The best gift you can give the future is to do something worthwhile in the present.
The Catalyst program of Regis supports humanitarian causes through downright expression in words and deeds. We reach out to different countries in need raising funds and awareness to ensure optimization of health and education for those in need. With passion for a great cause, we hope to expand the mission and express the vision worldwide. Together, let us open our minds and listen to our hearts in promoting an attitude of universal acceptance and continue to advocate for the preservation of democracy and human rights for all.
The Story of the Anne Frank Family
The Frank family can be traced back to the Judengasse (or Jews’ lane) in Frankfurt. This was considered the ghetto of the city. Most Jews who lived in the center of the city had to move there eventually. Living conditions in the Judengasse were cramped and povertous, and governmental (guild) laws prohibited most Jews from practising skilled crafts and trades; making it harder to stay afloat. Through my research, I discovered that the Stern and Cahn families, who are direct descendants of Anne Frank, lived in the Judengasse many years before she did. Anne’s great-great grandfather was a wealthy merchant, and most of her other descendants were historically academics and booksellers.
In 1889, Anne’s father (Otto) was born, and in 1925, Otto married Anne’s mother, Edith. The Franks placed great emphasis on a good education. The children attended music lessons (Otto played the cello), and they learned English, French and Italian as a matter of course. After the sudden death of his father, Otto worked in the family-owned bank with his younger brother Herbert. When the first World War broke out in 1914, the Franks were assimilated and considered themselves to be German, and the sons reported for service voluntarily: Otto became an officer in France. After the first World War, the banking industry was in steady decline and the Frank family lost a lot of money because of it. In 1926, the Franks had their first daughter Margot, and in 1929, Anne was born.
Before the second World War, the financial situation worsened after Germany was forced to pay reparations after losing the first. Also, the social situation for Jews worsened due to heightened feelings of anti-Semitism among the populous. In January of 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the Reich, and one of his first actions was to boycott the Jewish population in Germany. Government commandos occupied the entrances to Jewish department stores and shops, and prevented access to law firms and medical practices owned by Jewish citizens. The Franks then decided to leave Germany for Amsterdam to seek asylum and start a new.
When the German army attacked the Netherlands in 1940 and then occupied the country, anti-Jewish laws were issued. Jews were increasingly limited in their professional and social life. In 1942, after Margot received a letter to be transported to a German labor camp, Otto decided it was time to go into hiding. This hiding place was prepared by Otto a year earlier in the annex of a business in Amsterdam. The Frank family went into hiding on July 6, 1942. They lived in what came to be known as the secret annex for two years, together with the van Pels family. This is where Anne Frank wrote her diary that later became world famous.
The Franks and their friends were betrayed to the Gestapo in 1944 and then transported to Westerbork. With the very last transport from the Netherlands, which left Westerbork on September 3, 1944, Anne Frank, now fifteen years old, her parents and sister Margot were moved to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Anne and Margot died there in March 1945, from the typhus epidemic. Their mother, Edith Frank, who had remained in Auschwitz, died as well, probably from exhaustion; their father, Otto Frank, was one of the few Jewish prisoners liberated by Soviet troops in 1945.
The Diary Of Anne Frank – An Inspiration For Generations
This book is about survival. It’s about prejudice. It teaches how there is nobility in human compassion. And it’s also about a young girl trying to survive adolescence. Many teens can relate to such a book because Anne goes through all of the normal adolescent trials in life, even though she’s locked up. Anne has a difficult relationship with her mother, as most young girls do. She often says things to hurt her mother, yet she can’t help her temper and continues to do so as time goes on. She also goes through the beginning stages of love. She and Peter enjoy each other’s company, and that leads to a very close bond that many teens experience in their lives. Anne also struggles with her identity. She finds through her writing that there are two Annes: a good one and a bad one. She longs throughout the story to find someone who will relate to her. All of these feelings she has can relate to most teenagers, no matter what year it is. It is a universal book. Although it teaches of the Holocaust and what the Jews went through, it reaches out to the reader to make the story more realistic and believable. We never want such a historical blunder to happen again. Anne’s last words in the beloved play and film were her most famous quote, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Those words, however, come before the end of the diary, and were written as part of a larger passage exploring the nature of good and evil and grappling with the horror she saw unfolding around her.
The detailed diary of Anne Frank gave us insights into what life was like for Jews who were in hiding, Anne often spoke her feelings and told things as they really were. ‘…I’m honest and tell people right to their faces what I think, even when it’s not very flattering. I want to be honest; I think it gets you further and also makes you feel better about yourself’, which was saved by one of the helpers in the Secret Annex, Miep Gies, and published by her father, Otto Frank, who survived the war, Anne’s voice was heard when millions of others were silenced. She was a young woman attempting to flee persecution, and her life was tragically cut short. Along with 6 million other Jewish people, Anne and the majority of her family were murdered by the German Nazi regime for being different. They were victims of evil. They were victims of hatred.
Yet, despite this, Anne’s words continue to offer hope. They are words that echo through generations, reaching people of all backgrounds and cultures. They instill in us the determination to educate future generations on the horrors of the past; to pass on the ideals of freedom from fear and freedom from want; and to act when we see injustices taking place.
People continue to connect with her. In many ways she is an ordinary teenager, writing about ordinary teenage things. Yet she is an extraordinary person, not only because she wrote these things amid war and violence, but also because in this teenage girl, we find reflective wisdom and wit. She is a woman of inward strength and courage. And her words continue to inspire, to provide optimism and lift generations up.
How Anne Frank Continues To Inspire Us Today
Close your eyes. Picture being stripped of everything you had ever owned; everything you had ever known. Stripped of your freedom, your dignity, your value as a human being. Marked with a yellow star, branding you as inferior. A target for verbal and physical assault. Forced into hiding. Living in constant uncertainty and fear. Left to wonder how long until you or your family are executed. This horrific scene is not fictional, but rather the tragic reality of Anne Frank, who recorded the horrors and heartache of history in her diary.
To start the essay I want to unveil Lluis Ribas’s portrait of Anne Frank. Anne’s face is not that of a hero, rather just a smiling girl with playful eyes, insightful beyond their tender years. Anne’s gaze does not rest upon what is in front of her, instead her focus probes the horizon, toward the future and the opportunities it holds. Over the years, the powerful messages captured from Anne’s diary, have offered encouragement to millions. Her courage, faith, resilience and optimism in the face of such overwhelming adversity continues to inspire generations today.
Although her journal revealed glimpses of the vulnerable teenager she was, Anne managed to find fortitude, despite hardship. Her resilience, courage, strength and determination while hiding in the secret annex was truly inspiring. She knew that leaving the attic would likely result in her death, yet despite feeling trapped and scared, she persevered. Her words resonate with many people around the world, shaping her as a positive role model for many generations. Anne states that “I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear; my courage is reborn”. Despite the horror, hopelessness and loss that Anne had to live in, her hope for a better future never faded, nor her undying belief in God and his protection. Anne found the light amid the darkness showing that “Beauty remains, even in misfortune”. Anne’s optimism demonstrated her willingness to see the good in humankind.
Six million people. Almost a quarter of Australia’s population, or, 1 million people more than now live in all of Queensland. That is how many were exterminated in the worst genocide of the twentieth century. Anne was but one, however, her message of social justice, freedom and equality for all remain as relevant and important today. The Diary of Anne Frank is a powerful story used to educate and empower young people to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination, in whatever package it comes disguised in. While Anne endures affliction frequently, her hope for the future never fades, and her enduring spirit is the quintessence of courage and equality for all.
The atrocities that Anne Frank endured throughout her life did not tarnish the way she saw the world. Horror, hopelessness and loss depicting the life Anne was stuck in, one where most people would have relinquished and spiraled into despair and hopelessness. But not Anne. She pushed through the darkness, making her the epitome of optimism. Whilst enduring affliction, Anne never lost hope showing her willingness to see the good in humankind. Anne wrote on July 15, 1944, that “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart… I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again.”
By commemorating Anne’s life through this portrait, it illustrates the modern-day relevance of her experience. Her story of perseverance, courage, compassion and hope amid despair continue to inspire us today and is why Anne’s message of social justice and equality for all remain as important today as it did 74 years ago. In leaving her story, she left a legacy. One that still lights fires in the hearts of those who read it. Faith hope and love. That is her legacy. “I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” (Frank, 1947). And indeed, she does, through the power of her words and now, through this portrait.
An Analysis of Anne Frank’s Use of Epistolary in the Portrayal of Her Coming-of-age in the Diary of a Young Girl
The epistolary movement is a well-known literary wave as it encompasses the use of letters, as a form of storytelling. Epistolary novels are usually written in first person limited narrative voice as they reflect on the personal experiences, opinions, and feelings of one character and create a subjective view of the other characters. During the 18th century, authors perceived the use of the epistolary technique as a way to provide a realistic aspect to their literary compositions (Curran). Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring and unquestionable biographies written in letters illustrating Jews’ martyrdom during the Holocaust. Derived from the Greek words “holos” (whole) and “kaustos” (burned) also referred to as the Soah, the Holocaust was a historical era marked by the decimation of millions of Jews. Indeed, during World War II, Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators targeted and exterminated more than half of the Jewish communities in Germany due to racial conflicts. One of the main themes covered in the autobiography is the coming-of-age of the protagonist Anne Frank. With this in mind, Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is considered as a bildungsroman as it deals with the continuous process of self-discovery along with the moral and psychological changes linked with the protagonist’s path to maturation. According to literary critic Judith Thurman, the title of Anne’s novel “corresponds to what is in fact is an epistolary autobiography of exceptional caliber. It takes the full measure of a complex, evolving character” (Thurman, as cited by Prose). Indeed, the tenacity of the human soul drives the young girl to grow and thrive even in atrocious circumstances. Anne slowly becomes dominated by a struggle to create a stable and permanent sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance. Although this may be true, in her diary, Anne does not get to experience the acme of her coming-of-age due to her brutal death. The Dutch novelist Harry Mulisch links the growing recognition of Anne’s diary to the fact that the young author died during her process of writing it. In that case, he describes Anne’s diary as being not only a work of art but also a “work of art made by life itself “due to her abrupt and brutal death (Mulisch, as cited by Prose).
Many literary critics often highlight the importance of maturation in Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Girl. According to John Berryman, Anne Frank’s story can be considered as the “conversion of a child into a person” (Berryman, as cited by Prose). Indeed, he highlights the exceptional aspect of Anne’s process of maturation as being uncommon due to her disadvantaged living conditions (Berryman). In like manner, Philip Roth describes Anne Frank’s diary as an “accelerated film of a fetus sprouting a face” (Roth, as cited by Prose). He believes that Anne’s diary effectively portrays the progressive development of Anne’s personality. Consequently, they both put an emphasis on the importance of the theme of coming-of-age in The Diary of a Young Girl. Although this may be true, they did not examine the effect of the use of the epistolary literary device in portraying this specific theme of self-maturation which is however essential throughout her diary. As Anne’s use of epistolary strongly contributes to the portrayal of her coming-of-age, it is necessary to fully analyze her use of epistolary in order to adequately understand her process of maturation. In that case, how does Anne Frank’s use of epistolary form contribute to the portrayal of her coming-of-age?
In this essay, I will first introduce the notion of self-growth and epistolary form, which will allow us to have a better understanding of the relevance of the topic. Then, in order to discern the different approaches used by Anne to unwillingly portray her maturation, I will analyze her use of the epistolary form to portray and link the structure of her novel to her coming of age. This will ultimately create a contrast between Anne’s personality at the beginning and at the end of her diary.
In Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne’s use of the epistolary literary device to express her point of view and narrate the steps of her life builds the naturalistic aspect of the novel. Her use of letters provides a chance to the readers to get closely acquainted with Anne’s personal thoughts and beliefs. She is not afraid to discuss controversial topics such as the Jews’ situation during WWII. Equally important, Anne’s motivation to write in her diary was purely honest and ethical as she was just trying to find a way to escape reality and create a new world for herself. Albeit Anne did make some revisions in order to become a published author, she wrote her letters with a sense of veracity and honesty and did not want to prove a certain point or portray a certain theme. As noted by Philip Roth in The Ghost Writer, the diary of Anne ‘kept her company and it kept her sane” (Roth, as cited by Prose). In that case, unwittingly Anne is able to provide a historical background to her diary. As a matter of fact, she creates a story based on the consequences of WWII on human psychological and physical attributes. Unintentionally, Anne’s provides a vivid representation of life conditions during WWII and documents her coming of age exposed to a life of imprisonment and fear. The chronological order of her letters throughout the years additionally can be aligned with historical facts. In that case, the use of letters each with a specific date creates a dynamic story which uses historical events as a background. Given these points, the use of the epistolary literary device builds Anne’s credibility as a young author which ultimately leads to the creation of the naturalistic aspect of her novel as it creates a sense of sincerity and genuineness. Indeed, as argued by Cynthia Crossen, Anne Frank makes use of an assortment of ideas, dramatic scenes with reflections in her letters as well as a natural tone to creates a sense of spontaneity and genuineness thus portraying the naturalistic aspect of her novel.
Anne’s personification of her diary contributes to the portrayal of her childishness. Indeed, one of the most significant signs of immaturity is the personification of her diary to become Kitty. Although some people may believe that Kitty remains an imaginary character who consequently cannot be personified, others would rather support the fact that Anne personifies her diary to become Kitty. As a matter of fact, Anne already had real-life friends but she felt the need to make an imaginary friend who would possess every quality she looks for in a person to make her feel less desolate. According to Anne, “You can be lonely even when you are loved by many people since you are still not anybody’s one and only” (Frank 130). Moreover, Anne was driven by the idea of having a perfect, compassionate friend, consequently, she started to see her diary as a way to escape real life. Anne created the illusion of Kitty and started to treat her like a real person as she felt like it was easier to talk to Kitty than to her real-life friends: “All I think about when I ‘m with friends is having a good time. I can’t bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things[…]that’s just how things are, and unfortunately, they’re not liable to change. This is why I’ve started the diary” (13). In that case, Anne’s personifies her diary to becomes Kitty as she creates an imaginary personality for it.
By naming her diary, Anne is able to create an abstract person and characterize her diary as a real person. As a matter of fact, involuntarily Anne shapes her diary as being polymorphic:
it takes the shape of the reader and changes according to the different readers.
In like manner, as Anne believed her diary would never reach an audience, she did not refrain from sharing intimate aspects of her life: from the most insignificant detail to the most essential aspects of the young girl’s life. Anne sees her diary as a friend rather than as a notebook. In that case, she attributes human characteristics to her diary such as the ability to listen or have feelings. As stated by Anne, “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a source of great comfort and support” (11). This illustrates Anne’s childhood innocence and creativity as she was able to make herself believe that her diary was a real and compassionate friend.
Equally important, the protagonist unintentionally shapes her diary as her a real character as Anne builds her self-characterization through Kitty. Indeed, through Kitty, the reader is able to characterize Anne as a young innocent girl according to her thoughts and actions.
Consequently, throughout her diary, Anne uses the personification of her diary to become Kitty in order to show her childishness and immaturity.
Pursuing this further, as the personification of Kitty is a symbol of Anne’s childishness, its continual use serves as a representation of Anne’s incomplete process of maturation.
Indeed, as Anne started to evolve psychologically and physically, she noticed that she could not hold back from talking to Kitty for the reason that her diary was beyond a shadow of a doubt the only consistent thing in real life. Indeed, in addition to being a source of comfort, Anne’s diary became a way to control Anne’s deepest feelings: “The prospect of going back to school in October is making me too happy to be logical! Oh dear, didn’t I just get through telling you I didn’t want to anticipate events? Forgive me, Kitty” (270). Consequently, this phenomenon puts an emphasis on the fact that Anne’s process of maturation did not reach its peak.
Throughout her novel, Anne’s process of self-maturation can be depicted through the evolution of her writing style. Indeed, at the beginning of her novel, Anne makes use of a simple and straightforward diction. She uses the simplest words to describes her personal thoughts which ultimately creates an atmosphere of directness and candor. According to the poet John Berryman, Anne Frank’s diary evokes a sense of exceptional self-awareness, candor and powers of expression (Berryman, as cited by Prose). Indeed, As Anne is still a young girl, she writes her journal in a simple manner while still conveying her message. The use of common terms conclusively makes her diary easily understood: “It seems like years since Sunday morning. So much has happened it’s as if the whole world had suddenly turned upside down” (23).
In contrast, by the end of her chronicle, Anne’s writing style underwent a metamorphosis similarly to her metamorphosis as a person. According to Francine Prose, Anne’s latest entries were not a guileless outburst of adolescent thoughts and feelings but a “consciously crafted work of literature” (Prose, as cited by Crossen). Anne’s writing skills became more developed as she is growing up. With this in mind, Anne’s use of a complex diction makes her diary harder to understand. This phenomenon ultimately creates a feeling of intricacy and self-evolvement. Anne uses more imagery and figurative language in order to not only expose her knowledge of literary conventions but also provide a sense of self-improvement. Her use of imagery depicts a deeper analysis and view on herself as well as a feeling of self-awareness. In that case, the change in Anne’s writing style serves as a way to portray her maturation and self-growth.
Correspondingly, Anne’s process of maturation can be illustrated by the transformation of her narrative voice. Indeed, throughout her novel, Anne Frank makes use of a first-person narrative voice thereupon makes her diary more subjective. Nonetheless, it is important to highlight the evolution of Anne’s narrative voice. Anne’s perception and point of view on life has changed. As she makes use of the same narrative voice throughout her novel, her mentality and perception of life have changed thus affecting her narrative voice. Indeed, At the end of the novel, it is noticeable that Anne’s narrative voice was highly affected by her mood swings as an adolescent and by feelings of fear, anger or confusion which were almost absent at the beginning of her novel when she was a child. Additionally, these ultimately highly impact the tone of the novel. At first, the tone of her novel is youthful and optimistic: “I had my birthday party on Sunday afternoon. The Rin Tin Tin movie was a big hit with my classmates. I got two brooches, a bookmark and two books” (Frank 10). Nonetheless, by the end of her novel, the tone becomes more complex and introspective: “As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things” (270).
In the final analysis, the evolution of Anne’s writing style can be analyzed to portray Anne’s process of maturation. Indeed, the metamorphosis of Anne’s writing technique through her use of diction, narrative point of view and figurative language effectively shows a sense of self-improvement and growth.
Anne’s characterization to describe the people surrounding her as well as herself portrays her process of self-growth. Indeed, Anne’s description of other people highly impacts her self-characterization. At the beginning of her novel, Anne provides a surface characterization of others as she does not try to understand why people behave a certain way towards her. She bases her analysis of human nature on people’s actions and appearances. She often jumps to conclusions and drives her action toward someone according to her opinion of that specific person. In that case, she creates a subjective view of the people surrounding her. She, therefore, illustrates her sense of immaturity as she believes that her perception of people corresponds to their real personalities. The most compelling evidence is the characterization of her mother, Edith Frank, at first then of Peter Van Daan. As a matter of fact, Anne shapes her mother as a loathsome character. Anne often accuses her mom of not showing her enough motherly love, affection and care: “I miss – every day and every hour of the day – having a mother who understands me” (129). Instead, she often gets in fights with her mother and does not agree with many of her claims. For this reason, Anne was unfortunately never able to create a close relationship with her mother: “With everything I do and write, I imagine the kind of mom I’d like to be with my children later on[…] I find it difficult to describe what I mean, but the word ‘mom’ says it all” (129). However, Anne never tried to understand why her mom was behaving a certain way with her. She did not try to understand that her personality was strongly similar to mom’s personality, in that case, they often got into fights because they were both outspoken and dynamic. As the reader, it is necessary to understand that Edith Frank was simply hurt by her daughter’s rebellion and rebuffs. This phenomenon ultimately leads Anne to create a closer relationship with her father than with her mother: “I finally told Daddy that I love ‘him’ more than I do Mother, to which he replied that it was just a passing phase, but I don’t think so. I simply can’t stand Mother, and I have to force myself not to snap at her all the time, and to stay calm when I’d rather slap her across the face” (48). In that case, Anne provides a bias characterization of her mother and does not understand her mom’s motivations or good intentions. Anne’s characterization of her mom marks her childhood stage. In that case, unwillingly, Anne is able to shape herself as an immature little girl because she shows that her mentality did not allow her to look further in order to provide a valid characterization of other characters and bases their descriptions on her child opinions.
Similarly, with Peter Van Daan, a year and a half after they have been hiding, Anne starts to notice the young boy and characterizes him according to what she wants to see. Anne creates a surface characterization of Peter as she solely bases her judgments on her idealistic view of teenage love and fantasies. To clarify, Anne believes that Peter is a sweet boy who desperately needs affection: “I think, Kitty, that true love may be developing in the Annex. All those jokes about marrying Peter if we stayed here long enough weren’t so silly after all” (189)
In reality, by the end of Anne’s diary, it is noticeable that Anne’s opinion of Peter has changed, in that case, she acknowledges the fact that her characterization of the young boy was based on an idealistic view of love. Indeed, Anne’s opinion of the young boy was highly influenced by her loneliness: “I know very well that he was my conquest and not the other way around. I created an image of him in my mind, pictured him as a quiet, sweet, sensitive boy badly in need of friendship and love[…]When I finally got him to be my friend, it automatically developed into an intimacy that, when I think about it now, seems outrageous” (268). In that case, she is later on faced with Peter’s real personality which is different from Anne’s initial opinions.
In contrast to the characterization of her mom, Anne’s characterization of Peter marks the beginning of her coming of age. During this time, she stills has a sense of childishness despite the beginning of her process of maturation.
Consequently, the analysis of Anne’s use of characterization can be used to depict her childishness and immaturity.
Conversely, by the end of her diary, Anne’s gains a better point of view of herself, consequently, her perception of life and people surrounding her has changed. As Anne grows up, she becomes introspective and tries to gain a better understanding of herself before trying to provide a valid characterization of others Her understanding of human psychology was highly influenced by her personal life experiences. Anne’s characterization underwent a metamorphosis as she gains a better interpretation of herself. To support this claim, she characterizes herself as a dual character, she believes that there are two different sides in her personality, “the lighthearted Anne” and the “deeper Anne” which both come out according to the person she is faced with (271). Correspondingly she gains a deeper view of life, is able to provide an explanation to reactions of the people surrounding her. Nonetheless, Anne is still troubled by the meaning of existence and her role as a human. She feels a sense of fear and confusion marked by the inconsistency of her feelings: “I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside” (272). Anne focuses her analysis on herself and tries to understand herself first before creating an image of others. In that case, Anne tries to learn more about herself before judging others. As an example, later on in the novel, after reading the book What Do You Think of the Modern Young Girl? Anne reflects on herself and tries to think about her own strengths and weaknesses. She gets to reflect on her relationship with her father as well as her deepest fears such as her feeling of isolation (266). Pursuing this further as Anne reflects on her past actions, she understands that she might have acted foolish or egotistical in some cases. Indeed, as she states, “I’ve let myself be guided entirely by my feelings. It was egotistical, but I’ve done what was best for my own peace of mind” (267). Consequently, as she becomes more introspective, Anne ultimately portrays her maturation.
Lastly, Anne’s Frank use of revisions in her diary furthermore portrays the theme of coming-of-age. Indeed, later on in the composition of her diary, Anne Frank, wanting to reach an audience by being published, decided to make revisions in order to make her letters more appealing to the public without nonetheless manipulating authentic facts and events. As stated by Francine Prose, author of Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife, ‘She decided that she wanted the book to be published, and she went back to the beginning and she re-wrote all the entries she wrote as a 13-year-old, except of course now she was a 15-year-old,’. In that case, throughout her novels, Anne Frank’s revisions acts as comments that explain and reveal her final opinions on certain matters. Frequently, it is noticeable that Anne’s point of view concerning a specific topic has thoroughly been changed due to her maturation. As an example, Anne’s sudden switch of opinion concerning her mother portrays Frank’s process of self-growth. Indeed, while reading her previous diary entries, Anne feels sorry for her bad actions towards her mother and tries to better their relationship. Nonetheless, she confesses that she will never be able to love her mother ‘with the devotion of a child” (132).
In that case, analyzing Anne’s initial and final perception of life and opinions through her revisions provides a flagrant contrast between her mentality as a child and as an adolescent. This time lapse effect ultimately builds Anne’s characterization as a young introspective girl. As an example, as stated by Anne in one of her comments: “I wouldn’t be able to write that kind of thing anymore. Now that I’m rereading my diary after a year and a half I’m surprised at my childish innocence. Deep down I know I could never be that innocent again […]it embarrasses me greatly to read the pages dealing with subjects that I remember as being nicer than they actually were” (56). In that case, Anne’s use of comments adequately points out to a change in Anne’s perception of life which results from her process of maturation.
All things considered, In The Diary of a Young girl, Anne Frank portrays her process of maturation through the use of epistolary. Indeed, through her letters, it is noticeable that in spite of her extraordinary circumstances, the protagonist, Anne, is faced with many conventional problems of adolescence such as feelings of isolation, rebellion towards her mother, curiosity about adulthood, and shifting attitudes. In that case, Anne’s puberty is a conventional portrayal of typical teenage habits. Her diary does not only give a vivid representation of World War II circumstances since it also addresses the timeless theme of puberty which reflects and illustrates typical teenage tendencies. In that case, the topic of coming-of-age is usually perceived as a universal topic; it highlights the importance of self-development but also acts as a link that connects similar-minded teenagers around the world. By representing Anne’s change of character with the evolution of her writing style, characterization and revisions, Frank effectively links her dynamic character to her situation as a WWII refugee. Consequently, the use of the epistolary literary technique highly impacts the portrayal of Anne’s process of maturation as it gives a vivid representation of her evolution as a person. Pursuing this further, it shapes Anne as a dynamic character thus representing her self-growth. In that case, what other aspects of Anne’s diary are highlighted by her use of epistolary?
- Crossen, Cynthia. “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl”. The Wall Street Journal, 25 Sept. 2009
- Curran, Louise. “Letters, Letter Writing and Epistolary Novels.” The British Library, The British Library, 18 May 2018, www.bl.uk/restoration-18th-century-literature/articles/letters-letter-writing-and-epistolary-novels
- Prose, Francine. “Francine Prose Explores Anne Frank’s Literary Genius.” NPR, NPR, 26 Sept. 2009, www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113198365.
- Frank, Anne, 1929-1945 author. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1995.
- White, Claire Nicolas, and Harry Mulisch. “Death and the Maiden.” The New York Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, www.nybooks.com/articles/1986/07/17/death and-the-maiden/.
Impressions from Reading the Diary of Anne Frank
From a technical aspect, The Diary of Anne Frank was superb. The set design captured the sheer simplicity with which the Franks and van Pelts had to live, all the while adding to the intimacy between the actors and the audience. That no real partitions separated the bedrooms from each other or from the general “common room”—what Mr. Frank termed the dining room—emphasized the utter lack of privacy which Mrs. Frank so keenly observed in the first act. Most obviously, the excerpts from Anne’s diary that were painted on the floor and walls added an artistic element to an otherwise minimalist set. It was also meaningful that the sole entrance to the theater was the bookcase; this contributed to the realism of the show for the audience.
With regards to the content of the show, each of the characters was sufficiently developed. Mr. Frank quickly emerged as the voice of reason within the group. His character foil, Mr. van Daan, exhibited an impulsive, ill-tempered nature throughout the show, particularly in his “quarrel” with his wife in the first act, as well as in his failed attempt to sneak bread in the second act. His equally erratic counterpart, Mrs. van Daan, openly flirts with Mr. Frank because her personality and her husband’s are noticeably discordant. Peter van Daan, though ostensibly irritable, is clandestinely shy, unlike his outspoken father. Margot Frank is reserved, graceful, and remarkably intelligent for her age. Likewise, Mrs. Frank keeps to herself. Most of her dialogue in the play focuses on reprimanding spontaneous Anne and helping her be more mature. Mr. Dussel is the introverted, fretful outcast of the group, owing partly to his late entrance into the Secret Annex, well after a group dynamic was established. Miep Gies is the group’s optimistic connection to the outside world. Her altruism is apparent in her unequivocal dedication to helping the Franks and van Daans despite the obvious threat this poses to her own safety. Mr. Kraler, on the other hand, has some qualms about helping the group, as his worrisome nature suggests. Lastly, Anne is very thoughtful and “dignified” in her own right—contrary to her mother’s beliefs. She is unapologetically honest, particularly in her aversion from her mother. She undergoes perhaps the most drastic change of all the characters between the first and second acts, though she never complains of the dismal circumstances of life in the annex.
It is also important to note that each character had an outlet, a way in which he or she dealt with the pain and discomfort of a marginalized, uncertain life in hiding. Anne, obviously, has her diary. In the second act, she even recounted to Peter that she hoped to make a career out of her writing. We see, therefore, that her diary served as a distraction from the present and offered her a daily glimpse into the more promising future. Mr. Frank explained to Anne, “Now, every time I read my Dickens, it takes me into another world. And, in that world, I am free.” Mrs. Frank keeps her mind off of her present misfortune by repeatedly trying to instill politeness and respect in Anne. She does this with the assumption that, when they are rescued from the annex and from hiding, these skills will serve Anne well. That is, she assumes there will be a future in which Anne will benefit from these lessons. Mrs. Frank lectures Anne significantly more in the first act than in the second act; this might be attributed to her noticeable loss of hope (in the second act) for rescue and the end of the Third Reich. Even without her confession to Miep that she “feels the end will never come”, Mrs. Frank makes it clear that she is very reluctant to believe she and her family will live to see the future and the rest of their lives. Considering this, it follows that she would helplessly give up scolding Anne. Mrs. van Daan had her fur coat as a reminder of the luxurious life that once was. After her husband gave it to Miep to sell, Mrs. van Daan lamented, “Oh, Putti, that was the last thing! A whole world—gone.” Mr. van Daan had his cigarettes, then a mark of living the high life. He also frequently longed for “Berkhof’s cream cakes”, a treat from which “rotten kale and potatoes” were a stark aberration. Margot and Mr. Dussel led private lives, somewhat aloof from the rest of the group, Mr. Dussel even “spending most of [his] life in [the WC]”, which was the only place in the entire Secret Annex where solitude was possible. Peter, somewhat introverted himself, spent a sizeable amount of time in the attic with his cat, Mouschi, as opposed to joining the others downstairs.
Living During Holocaust Described in the Diary of Anne Frank
“I only knew its funny never to be able to go outdoors… never to breathe fresh air… never to run and shout and jump”. Anne Frank wrote this in The Diary of Anne Frank, while she was hiding in a dark loft with two families, knowing that at any moment, her life could be over. Anne Frank was living in fear like this for two years. During the time period of the Holocaust, when the Nazi’s were sending Jews to concentration camps, Anne and her family, along with two other families were in a small, cramped loft that barely had any space to fit them all. The main problems the families living in the Annex faced were harsh living conditions, fearful tension and a scarcity of supplies.
To begin, the living conditions the residents of the Annex were forced to live with were very dreadful and cruel. The place in which Anne was driven to take refuge was obviously not the most ideal place, seeing as they had to live “off the grid”, meaning they had to do whatever it took in order to be safely concealed from the public and from the Nazis. The residents of the Annex couldn’t run water, which included using the bathroom, talk, and they had to walk lightly. “So, to be perfectly safe, from eight in the morning until six in the evening we must move only when it is necessary, and then in stockinged feet. We must not speak above a whisper. We must not run any water.” Mr. Frank had said this in The Diary of Anne Frank. This quote explains the hardships that the residents of the Annex had to deal with. Given these points, if people in the Annex didn’t adhere to these precautions, wouldn’t be safe.
Moreover, fear is a catalyst that fuels the residents into hiding from the Nazis in 1942. The subjugation of Holland by the German Nazis stimulated this apprehension. Jews were afraid the Nazis would drag them from their home and force them to a concentration camp. In The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank said, “Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of day, poor helpless people are being dragged outside their homes”. Anne Frank explains to the reader that every family in the Annex and the Jews outside are living in terror. Anne also explains how the Nazis are locating and deporting the Jews straight from the comfort of their homes to the hellish environment of a concentration camp. The families in the Annex were also in fear of losing all of their supplies. In addition to a very harsh environment and the trepidation created invasion by the Nazis, the members in the Annex were restricted even further by now having a scarce amount of supplies and necessities.
In addition to isolation and fear, the lack of supplies in the Annex made the living conditions harsher. The residents in the Annex had such a lack of food that they have been sharing the food rations. “The bread! He was stealing the bread-Mrs. Frank. It was you, and all the time we thought it was the rats! -Dussel. Mr. Van Daan, how could you! -Mr. Frank. I’m hungry- Mr. Van Daan. We’re all of us hungry! I see the children getting thinner and thinner. Your own son Peter… I’ve heard him moan in his sleep, he’s so hungry. And you come in the night and steal food that should got to them… to the children- Mrs. Frank.” This quote explains how Mr. Van Daan pilfered food at night to ease his hunger. Mrs. Frank then goes on to describe how the children are growing thinner and go to sleep starving. The lack of resources is another factor in the Annex that the residents have to suffer through.
In the final analysis, Anne Frank and her family lived in fear for two years, as they had to deal with very harsh living conditions; they lived in fear, and barely had enough food to survive. The three families in the Annex got eventually got caught by the Germans and were sent to concentration camps. But, Anne Frank and her glorious legacy will forever be resonant.æ
The Diary Of Anne Frank: The Holocaust By The Eyes Of a Witness
The Holocaust was a time where people were dropping like flies. It was a time period where people were hunted down like animals and killed in cold blood. Adolf Hitler was an anti-Semitic Nazi leader who believed that Jews were an inferior race, an “alien threat to the German racial purity”. Around six million Jews between 1941 and 1945 were tortured to death by the death squads or worse transported to death camps. The Nazis sought to obliterate the entire Jewish race in Europe. Victims ranged from children to the elderly, there was no age limit to stop the wrath of these cold hearted killers (The Holocaust). During the Holocaust, Jews documented their mournful experience in their own words and from their own perspective in letters and diaries. Anne Frank was one of these testimonial writers of this heartbreaking time and she allowed us to see into her world through her optimistic eyes.
The most famous acclaimed life during the Holocaust has been read by millions of people, including ourselves. We have all read or watched The Diary of Anne Frank at some point in our lives. Anne Frank is the world’s most famous World War II Holocaust victim. She was a Jewish teenager who went into hiding during the Holocaust for two years. She jotted down her experience while being confined with her family and four other fugitives as they hid behind a bookcase in a concealed attic space of her father’s office building (Anne Frank Biography). Her optimistic view of the depressing time reflected her nobility. These journal entries of her traumatizing experience later became the renowned book, The Diary of Anne Frank which serves as a tool of information and inspiration to many people.
Annelies “Anne” Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12, 1929 and died in February- March 1945. Her father, Otto Frank, was a businessman while her mother, Edith, was a stay at home mom. Anne was an outgoing and spirited child. She got into more trouble than her quiet and serious older sister, Margot. Anne was like her father who liked to play around, while Margot was more shy like her mother. She was like any other teenage girl around her age. Anne Frank had the common teenage arguments with her parents, as well as the thoughts of being a self-regulating girl hoping to fall in love, as most teenagers do today. The skinny thirteen year old girl with short black hair and a fair skin complexion who, was a naughty, funny,courageous, smart, and loud girl (Biography Anne frank).
Furthermore, the Holocaust was the mass slaughter of European civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II. There were mobile killing units, also, known as the death squad that were in charge of these mass murders. The death squad had many methods of killing these innocent people but their favorite was the open field. They would enter a town or city and rounded up all Jews, where they were forced to gather all their valuables and remove their clothing. Then the killing squad members would march them into open fields, forests, and ravines on the outskirts of the town. There they would line them up in a line and shoot them in the line with no mercy; then dumped the bodies into mass graves (Mobile killing squad). Another, method was the gas vans in which the “exhaust pipes had been reconfigured to pump carbon monoxide gas into sealed paneled spaces behind the cabs of the vehicles. ”The dead bodies were then driven into a nearby forest, where they were dumped into mass graves. There were six killing centers known as “extermination camps” or “death camps. “Chelmno was the first killing campto begin operations, in December 1941. The largest killing center was Auschwitz-Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II. In the camps they would kill the jews by placing them in gas chambers (Killing center: In depth). First, they were told to take off their clothing because they were going to take a shower. Inside there were three columns for the ventilators, through which the gas was poured in. When the room was full, small children were thrown in through a window. Infants were grabbed by their little legs and smashed their skulls against the wall. Then the gas was let into the chamber, where the lungs of the victims slowly burst, and after three minutes a loud clamoring could be heard. Then the chamber were opened, and those who showed signs of life were beaten to death (Experiences of a Fifteen year old in Birkenau).
Anne Frank’s story is an unquestionably horrifying yet moving story. Even though Anne did not physically survive the camps, her soul is immortalized in her diary. Anne’s legacy is important because it provides insight into the lives of those in hiding during World War II. Her story provided the world with a glimpse into the mind of a real victim during this inhuman time period. Her constant positive outlook on her life was amazing she said “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. ” Even through the toughest of tough she had a positive view. The emotional appeal that Anne writes with provides a learning and a relatable connection that textbooks about World War II just cannot provide. Anne’s writing also has a positive undertone, she sees good in everyone. This reminds people that it is possible to find light even in the darkest of situations. Anne’s story is one of courage and hope, when all hopes were lost. “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains” Anne Frank. ”
Anne represented, and still does, an entire race during a very bleak time. A time where these jewish families lost everything from material things to inner hope. But that wasn’t case for Anne; she teaches humanity many lessons about life. Her most impactful lesson is being optimistic and humble. Anne Frank was able to tell us her story about what it was like to live in a country full of people that hated Jews, like herself. Having to be aware and careful while living with fear every single day is no way to live, but Anne Frank managed to keep positive every day she was alive. She teaches us to be optimistic, to see the good things around us, and not to focus on the negative aspects of life, as she did during her traumatizing experience. Anne Frank always saw the light in the nazies as they destroyed an entire race with no mercy. Under all evil there is some type of light.