Literature Study GuidesThe Diary Of A Young GirlJuly 8 September 21 1942 Summary

The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | July 8–September 21, 1942 | Summary

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Summary

In this section Anne and her family move into their new secret home, a week earlier than her parents had originally planned.

July 8–July 9, 1942

In the entries for July 8 and 9, Anne describes the Frank family's horror when they learn that her sister, Margot Frank, has received a notice from the SS to be sent to a labor camp, and while the family doesn't know precisely what this will entail, they know enough to be horrified. Various friends of the family and employees of Otto Frank's company begin stopping by, including Mr. van Daan, Hello, Miep Gies, and her husband, Jan. Immediately, the Franks begin packing. The next morning, they put on as many layers of clothes as possible and leave their apartment for good.

July 10–July 11, 1942

The hiding place—or Secret Annex, as Anne begins calling it—is at the back of Otto Frank's office building, where there are two floors of unused empty rooms as well as a kitchen, bathroom, attic, and loft. Only a handful of Otto Frank's employees have been told of the family's arrival. The entries for July 10 and 11 describe the chaos of moving in, unpacking, and making blackout curtains for the windows.

The Franks go downstairs to listen for news from England on the radio, but Anne and her mother fear the neighbors will hear. In addition to having to be quiet, Anne says matter-of-factly, "Of course, we can't ever look out the window or go outside" (July 11). Either she doesn't yet realize how difficult this restriction will be, or she doesn't want to dwell on it. In fact, the family will manage to look out the window secretly at times, taking care never to be seen.

July 12, 1942

She's more troubled by her family. Despite the novelty of moving into the Annex, Anne finds it hard being cooped up with the rest of the Franks. On July 12, she laments, "I don't fit in with them." Her relationship with her mother is especially tense.

On July 13, the van Daan family moves in. Mr. van Daan relates how he tricked the Frank's tenant, Mr. Goldschmidt, into thinking the Franks had left to flee to Switzerland through Belgium. Anne's first impression of the van Daan family is not good. She finds Peter, who is almost 16, boring, obnoxious, and lazy; his parents are quarrelsome, and shock Anne by shouting at each other. There's also a lot of friction between Anne's mother and Mrs. van Daan.

August 14–September 21, 1942

A dramatic argument occurs between Peter and his parents. Peter attempts to read a book that Anne implies has erotic content. His father takes the book away from him, but Peter retrieves it and continues to read it privately. When his father catches him, he takes the book away again. Peter sulks about this for three days. Anne is annoyed when her parents forbid her to read books they determine she is not ready for intellectually. This spurs Anne to keep very busy with schoolwork. She dreams of being able to read the same books as the adults.

Analysis

It's hard to imagine that anyone in any circumstances could leave her old life and go into hiding without tremendous emotional upheaval. Yet Anne Frank hardly mentions her emotions about the situation—not because she doesn't feel them, but because they don't fit into what she's writing about. Until the Franks move into the Secret Annex, Anne's diary is mostly about her social life. Although she writes about missing her cat—"Moortje is my weak spot" (July 12)—she barely mentions school or her friends once she's in hiding. She's very good at focusing on the present and observing concrete details, and for the most part she tells her story as completely and compactly as possible, focusing on the specifics of the move and her impressions of the van Daan family. For example, she describes the practical details of living in the Secret Annex, such as unpacking boxes and making curtains. She also comments on her impressions of Peter van Daan and his parents, sometimes to comic effect. Hints that she's frightened creep in only from time to time.

The grownups in the Secret Annex don't seem as skilled at living in the moment as Anne is. Nor does Peter. "No one takes Peter seriously anymore, since he's hypersensitive and lazy" (September 2). Even at this early point in their life in hiding, Anne feels the adults don't take her seriously enough and that she must prove herself. Throughout the diary, Anne will portray the adults she lives with as being less mature and more self-involved than parents should be. Often, she makes a good case as she portrays them with open eyes.

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