Thematic Essay on Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of A Young Girl, written over a two-year period, tells about the life of a young girl named Anne Frank who is also the author, while she and her family are in hiding in Holland. They are staying in a secret attic of the office building where Mr. Frank used to work in order to escape from the Nazis during World War II. During their stay in the annex, they are supported by several people in the office building, who risk their own lives to insure the secrecy of the Jewish hideout and to provide them with food and basic supplies.
Throughout the time Anne spends hiding in the annex she develops maturity and gains respect from the people around her. I would say that the theme of this book is adolescence. I think the theme of this book is adolescence because Anne writes in her diary about how she has become more of a women since moving into the annex. She also develops adolescence by being able to see what she did not see in a person before. For example she is asked by Mrs. Van Daan if she could ever picture Peter as a brother, instantly she reacts with disgust like a child.
Later on in the book though she begins to develop feelings for Peter, stronger than a brother. She begins to confide in him, and ask him questions about sex. She also writes her father a letter describing her feelings for Peter. Throughout the 2 years Anne spends hiding in the Annex her child self, develops into a mature being, but not yet an adult making the theme of this story adolescence. In The Diary of A Young Girl, Anne Frank, who is our author of the diary writes many entries describing the relationship between her and her Mother. She feels that she does not fit in with her mother, who she thinks is very sentimental.
On a diary entry dated October 3, 1942 (page 51) Anne writes “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, I don’t love her, I can imagine mother dying some day. ” This diary entry written by Anne clearly shows the strong dislike she had towards her mother. Because Anne is a child and not mature enough she feels that when her mother tells her she did not do something right, and to do it again, Anne takes it personal and gets very frustrated.
Her mom constantly does this and it makes Anne furious causing her to hate her mother at an unbelievable level. Later on in Anne’s diary though the theme adolescence is developed when Anne reads through her diary and is shocked at how negatively she wrote of her mother in past entries. On Page 155 in her entry of December 24, 1943 she wrote “Do you know what I’ve come up with? In order to give me the feeling of calling my mother something that sounds like “Mom,” I often call her “Momsy. Sometimes I wish I could honor her by removing the “s. ” In this entry it clearly shows us Anne has more respect towards her mother now and has matured significantly. She regrets all the horrible things she ever said about her mother, and is able to see that it was not her mother that was really the problem but her maturity, and she realizes this because of her adolescence. Anne thinks she has grown wiser since then and now understands her mother better. She sees herself as an adolescent now.
Another way the theme is developed in this is story is how Anne’s feelings change towards Peter, a boy who is also staying in the annex with his family and the Frank family. In Anne’s diary she writes an entry on September 25, 1942 (page 40) describing Peter’s personality, “They asked me in a typically grown-up way whether I could ever learn to love peter like a brother, since he loves me like a sister. “Oh, no! ” I said, but what I was thinking was, “Oh, ugh! ” Just imagine! I added that Peter’s a bit stiff, perhaps because he’s shy. Boys who aren’t used to being around girls are like that. In this entry she writes about Peter in a childish way, she says with disgust that she could never see Peter as a brother, and of course she would say it that way because her personality and attitude is still like one of a child. The theme adolescence is developed because her feelings towards Peter change. Earlier in her diary entries she wrote how Peter is nervous around girls because he is not used to being around them, and she goes on about how immature and foolish he is. But they soon begin to talk like adults and open up to each other.
Anne soon then confides in him, and begins to see he is not who she thought he was. She is more mature around him, and treats him with great respect because she likes the personality she gets from him. She transitions from a child to a mature teenager, her maturity is greatly because of the time she spends with Peter. Anne’s adolescence is also due to appreciating what she has in life. In a diary entry on November 27, 1943 (page 149) Anne writes about a dream she has about an old school mate, Hanneli. She writes about the dream and how it akes her thankful for what she has. In the dream Anne pictures Hanneli dressed in rags, her face thin and, worn, and she is begging Anne to rescue her, in the dream Hanneli is at a concentration camp. In this dream Anne can not help Hanneli, she can only stand by and watch while other people suffer and die. Anne realizes that there are millions of Jews who do not have the advantages she has, she could be at a concentration camp starving and doing hard labor work, or even dead. But instead she is safe and warm with her family, who she before could not get along with.
Anne greatly matures after all of this, she is able to see that she was such a child before who thought greatly of herself. She hated doing work around the house, and complained constantly about her mother. But after this dream she knows that she should have worried about other things, like the war. Anne leaves her childish acts and complaints behind and becomes a mature young adult! The best theme for this book is clearly adolescence. A young girl hiding in an Annex writing in her diary for 2 years can definitely develop a sense of maturity even with no contact of the outside world what so ever.
Just because Anne is stuck hiding in an Annex and not able to go outside, she has plenty to do, to pass the time. She writes her feelings and thoughts in her diary, and writes meaningful events that talk about her adolescence. Her adolescence is greatly due to her appreciating what she has in life, because it makes her realize that not everyone has the advantages she has and that her complaints and hate towards many things are things that are less to even think about, she should not think about herself too much.
Also changing her thoughts and opinions develops her maturity as well. She does not get along well with her mother or Peter, but she soon is able to confide in them and love and appreciate them. I think that Anne’s adolescence throughout the book is a very good thing. She is still very young when she does mature, and not many people at that age have the maturity that she gains. I appreciate the fact that Anne is able to mend the relationship with her and her mother.
I know how it feels to have someone constantly nag at you and it is very hard to forgive someone, and I respect and honor that Anne was able to love her mom in the end of it all. I think everyone has a little bit of Anne in them, people regret things they do and say in life, and although it is a mistake it helps them to look back and learn from it, and gain a sense of maturity. It is a very good thing, and although Anne did not survive the war we can all learn from this book and appreciate life as it is now!