Course Hero. "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide." Course Hero. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 14 May 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/>.
Course Hero. (2017, January 12). The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide." January 12, 2017. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/.
Course Hero, "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide," January 12, 2017, accessed May 14, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/.
On December 10, Anne describes an amusing day spent watching Mr. van Daan make all kinds of sausages. For once, the residents seem like a united family as they gather in the kitchen to observe the project to great merriment.
Mr. Dussel also wields the tools of his trade: he gives Mrs. van Daan a dental exam and fills two cavities for her. Not surprisingly, Mrs. van Dan proves to be a terrible patient, but watching her hysterics temporarily unites the rest of the group once more.
On December 13 Anne notes, "Our thoughts are subject to as little change as we are. They're like a merry-go-round, turning from the Jews to food, from food to politics." Still, she is so alert to her surroundings that she finds a lot to watch outside through a chink in the curtains. Sometimes, the sights cheer her; at other times, she is deeply saddened by watching the poorly clad, hungry children in the neighborhood. In her January 13, entry she notes how "terrible things are happening outside," as "families are torn apart." She considers her family "luckier than millions of people," and hopes they will help others when the war is finally over. In her March 10 entry, she confesses that the sounds of planes and shooting scare her and send her to her father for comfort.
As the weeks go on, events inside the Annex are more frustrating than ever. Sharing a bedroom with Mr. Dussel is annoying, for example, but Anne admits that she must keep the peace in the cramped environment. She still feels unduly criticized and misunderstood by "everyone" in the Annex. "All day long I hear nothing but what an exasperating child I am," she writes on January 30. "I wish I could ask God to give me another personality, one that doesn't antagonize everyone. But that's impossible."
There are also some scary moments. The building's owner sells it without informing Mr. Kugler or Mr. Kleiman, who must put off the new owner when he wants to look over the building more closely. When Peter van Daan fetches some newspapers in the attic, a "large rat" bites his arm.
Anne Frank's December 10 entry mentions buying a large amount of meat on the black market. Modern readers may have trouble understanding how the World War II black market worked, especially for people in hiding.
In both Europe and the United States, feeding and equipping the military meant that on the home front, food and other commodities had to be rationed. Rationing limited what the individuals in each household could buy—and it was a cumbersome system. Citizens were issued registration cards they used to obtain coupons that would allow them to buy rationed food. Rationed items couldn't be bought with money alone; a customer also needed to hand over the right coupons when paying.
In theory, the practice prevented hoarding and allowed for the equitable distribution of foods such as sugar, meat, and dairy products. But people who could afford it sometimes bought extra quantities of rationed items, paying higher-than-regulation prices to illegal dealers. (This can be compared to buying prescription drugs, without a prescription, from someone who's not licensed to sell them.) This "black market" did not require registration books or coupons—just cash.
The Franks and Mr. Dussel brought their registration cards with them to the Secret Annex. Their helpers could use these to obtain coupons. Miep Gies's husband, Jan, was able to buy coupons on the black market as well. But the van Daans arrived at the Annex without their registration cards. To buy enough food for everyone, the helpers often resorted to the black market, using cash that the residents had brought with them. As the months in hiding passed, the van Daans' cash ran out and they were forced to sell some of their possessions—on the black market, of course.