The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | July 8–August 1, 1944 | Summary

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Summary

July 8, 1944

On July 8, the Annex routine is shaken up by a delivery: 24 crates of strawberries. Immediately, everyone sets to work canning strawberries and making jam. For two days, the Annex eats fresh strawberries at every meal, and then comes another delivery: 20 pounds of peas that must be shelled. Anne shells so many peas, she feels sick. "I never, ever want to be just a housewife!" she declares.

July 15, 1944

Anne has been reading a book about "the modern young girl," which causes her to embark on an in-depth self-analysis. Her July 15 entry, which begins as an imaginary rebuttal to the book's author, soon blossoms into an extraordinary philosophical statement. She knows that her ideals are "absurd and impractical," but she holds on to them because "I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."

July 21–August 1, 1944

July 21 brings excellent war news. Anne is so happy at the thought of returning to school in October that her thoughts range all over the place. She concludes that she's a bundle of contradictions. On August 1, she expands on this idea, explaining that there are, in fact, two contradictory sides to her character. There's the flippant, superficial Anne, and then there's the "pure Anne" on the inside. How she wishes she could allow the inside Anne to guide her behavior! She resolves to keep trying to find a way to become what she'd like to be "and what I could be if ... if only there were no other people in the world."

Analysis

The last sentence of the diary and perhaps the last one Anne ever wrote has a definite impact very different from what would have been if it had ended with, say, a list of books Anne wanted to read or another description of the food the residents are forced to eat in the Annex.

Instead, Anne is in a deeply reflective mood about her two sides of her nature and personality, but even when that's not the case, she knows how to shape a diary entry. Because she views her diary as a friend, her entries read like letters, with well-defined beginnings and effective endings.

Several of Anne's summer 1944 entries are much longer than usual, and they read like thoughtful essays. In fact, she's recently turned 15 and seems to have waning expectations about her relationship with Peter; she's more focused on thinking that the war is finally nearing an end, and all that may mean for her and her fellow occupants of the Annex. Readers will never know why her last entries read as they do, but Anne's writing style seems to be developing and maturing even further in the last few weeks of her time in the Secret Annex. It is her tragedy, and the world's, that she won't live to keep writing.

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