The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | January 28–March 2, 1944 | Summary

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Summary

January 28–February 27, 1944

Many of the entries in this section center on Anne Frank's growing attraction to Peter van Daan. Becoming closer to Peter helps Anne bear the tedious, repetitive conversations going on around her. Anne continues to find the adults around her annoying and communication with them difficult because they underestimate her and the other teenagers in the Annex. She and Peter look forward to talking with each other. They realize they both can't stand Mr. Dussel, for example. They also share thoughts about their families. Anne sees that Peter is in need of affection and that his mother is inadequate, just as hers is. She also senses that "something beautiful is going to develop between Peter and me" and that Peter is a "good, decent boy." Anne keeps her growing love to herself. She does not know if Peter feels the same way. By February 27, she is not sure how much longer she can "keep this yearning under control."

February 28–March 2, 1944

Still, the war is never far away. Anne is inspired by the bravery of the people who are protecting her and the other residents of the Annex. She hears from some of them about the many additional people in the Netherlands who have gone into hiding or joined resistance groups to help them. Anne and her companions grow increasingly tense at the possibility that the British will invade Holland. How will the Germans react? What should the members of the Secret Annex do if Amsterdam is evacuated? They mention the gassing of "millions of peace-loving citizens in Poland and Russia." Anne reports on February 3 that "I've reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can't do anything to change events anyway." She hopes that "everything will be all right in the end." On March 1, Anne describes another, more serious, office break-in. Perhaps someone out there has a duplicate key.

Analysis

Inevitably, Anne Frank's loneliness, fear, and boredom, coupled with the constant presence of a presentable boy her own age have led to romance. Perhaps Anne wouldn't have found Peter van Daan nearly as attractive if she hadn't been living in the Secret Annex with him; perhaps he's a good distraction from the terrors of the war. "Peter Schiff and Peter van Daan have melted into one Peter, who's good and kind and whom I long for desperately" (February 28, 1944). In any event, she begins to look forward to seeing and speaking with Peter every day.

Despite her dawning romantic feelings, Anne, even as a young teenager, is not fooling herself. She's clearheaded enough to recognize that Peter has a couple of serious flaws. She is put off by Peter's "dishonesty" about wanting to pretend he's not Jewish. On February 17, she shows Peter some of her writing and sounds vaguely disappointed about his reaction. "I can't really tell what kind of impression it made on him."

While Anne's feelings about Peter thrill her, they are not the sum total of her experiences during the period these entries cover, because this section also contains several robustly interesting descriptions of Secret Annex life, especially the accounts of the residents' mealtime conversations and the chores they do. Anne is too observant, and too committed to her diary, to neglect her self-assigned responsibilities as a writer and spend that much time on a budding romance.

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