The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | June 12–July 5, 1942 | Summary

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Anne Frank's diary entries are presented individually in The Diary of a Young Girl. This study guide groups diary entries for the purpose of summary and analysis.

Summary

June 12, 1942

At first, Anne Frank's diary entries are the normal confidences of a chatty teenage girl. In her first entry, for June 12, 1942, Anne says she hopes she'll be able to confide everything to the new diary she has received for her birthday. At a later date (September 28, 1942), Anne adds a comment to this entry in which she clarifies that she actually keeps two parallel diaries. She uses the first one, named Kitty, as a first draft. The second diary, which is not named, is a revised draft that Anne intends to publish after the war because she has heard that people's memoirs will be sought by the returned Dutch government.

June 14–June 15, 1942

The next two entries describe Anne's 13th birthday party. She receives a large assortment of presents and takes her classmates to a movie. She also provides brief, gossipy descriptions of those classmates. The entries are cheerful, and Anne barely mentions the war, though she mentions "all the changes taking place lately."

June 20–June 21, 1942

Anne appears to be very popular, yet in her next several entries, she talks about how alone she feels and wonders if somehow she's responsible for not having "one true friend." On June 20, 1942, she says her diary will be her best friend, so she'll give it a name: Kitty. To bring potential readers up to speed, Anne provides a brief autobiography. She also lists the increasingly serious constraints placed on Jews in Holland.

Despite her confession about feeling alone, Anne's letters of June 20 and June 21, 1942, describe her social life. From the outside, she appears to have good social skills with both girls and boys her age; she describes several male "admirers." She also writes about her normal school activities. Everyone in the class is nervous about being promoted to the next grade. Anne mentions several of her teachers, in particular one who has made her write three separate essays on being a chatterbox because Anne is so talkative.

June 24–July 1, 1942

Diary entries for June 24 and July 1, 1942, describe Anne's budding friendship with a 16-year-old boy named Hello Silberberg. He is going out with another girl, Ursul, but prefers Anne's company. Anne introduces him to her own parents, but Hello has to defy his family to see her (his grandmother thinks Anne is too young for him). Still, in her July 1 entry, Anne confesses that the boy she really loves is another, named Peter Wessel.

July 5, 1942

Anne's graduation goes well, and she is promoted. But on July 5, 1942, she is shocked by her father's announcement that the Frank family will soon be going into hiding. He is concerned that if they do not do so, the Germans will take them away and seize their belongings. "Enjoy your carefree life while you can," he tells her.

Analysis

Anne Frank is a bright, sociable girl with lots of friends, but the diary's brief first entry shows a more private side. Anne says she hopes she'll be able to tell the diary everything, "as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support" (June 12, 1942). To judge by the next couple of entries, Anne would seem to have an abundant supply of friends—and yet, for some reason, she feels cut off from the emotional support she needs. This theme will recur again and again throughout the diary.

The diary's first entries also show that Anne is already an assured writer. She's good at summarizing her activities and enlivening them with interesting details. Unlike many beginning diarists, she jumps right into the action rather than providing a dull description of herself and her family. In fact, she describes her friends before she says anything about herself. Her descriptions are both comprehensive and concise. She knows how to interest readers in what's coming next. The hints she drops about World War II and about troubles with her friends make readers want to learn more about Anne and the changes she is about to encounter.

At first, it seems odd that Anne follows a long description of her friends by announcing, on June 20, that she has no friends—or at least not a best friend. But this is why she plans to treat the diary as a friend, and gives the diary a name: "Kitty." She can write each entry as if it were a letter to an actual person; she knows letters are usually more chatty because they are written to someone, as opposed to existing in isolation as just diary entries. Anne is only 13, but it's obvious from this lively approach that her readers will find much to think about in her words.

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