The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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Course Hero, "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide," January 12, 2017, accessed December 14, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/.

The Diary of a Young Girl | March 12–June 13, 1943 | Summary

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Summary

March 12–April 1, 1943

This section is notable for Anne's composure under a barrage of troubles.

  • Food in the Secret Annex has never been plentiful nor of good quality. Now there's even less food, and it lacks any variety or flavor. Mr. Dussel, on the other hand, always seems to have some delicious extra food sent to him by his long-time lover, who still lives in the outside world, but he refuses to share.
  • Everyone's clothes and shoes are wearing out. For Anne, who is still growing, this is especially troubling. Linens, such as tablecloths and sheets, can't be washed and are becoming increasingly dirty.
  • On March 25, an attempted burglary (or what the residents assume is an attempted burglary) forces the residents to sit awake, terrified, for an entire night.
  • Some of the residents and their helpers are suffering from a variety of illnesses.

April 2, 1943

On April 2, Anne's problems with her mother reach a new low when she refuses to let Mrs. Frank hear her evening prayers. For some reason, this triggers what seems to be a real rupture between mother and daughter. Each believes the love between them is damaged, and Anne realizes for the first time that her coldness actually saddens her mother. After this entry, it's more than three weeks before Anne writes in her diary again.

April 27, 1943–June 13, 1943

The arguments between the other residents sharpen as the British air strikes on Amsterdam increase. Tensions are high in the annex as the residents suffer increasingly from uncertainty about when or how the war will end. They pass their nights listening to bombers overhead. Only occasionally does the mood in the Secret Annex lighten. On June 13, Anne describes her 14th birthday, of which one highlight is a charming poem written by her father.

Analysis

Anne opens the April 2 entry rather flippantly: "Oh, my, another item has been added to my list of sins." Anne's refusal to let Mrs. Frank listen to her evening prayers is one of the few times when readers may find it difficult to sympathize with Anne. Until the April 2 entry, Anne hasn't made it clear that praying is an important ritual for her. She's barely mentioned her prayers, much less the fact that her father is usually the parent who hears them. So when Mrs. Frank asks, "How about if I listen to your prayers tonight?" Anne's reply ("No, Momsy") seems especially harsh.

Anne is usually quite perceptive about the way she contributes to her troubles with her mother, but not in this entry. She recognizes that she's responsible for making her mother cry, "but I also knew that I was incapable of answering her any other way. I can't be a hypocrite ... I don't intend to shrink from the truth." Life in the Secret Annex has already shown Anne that daily life can be smoothed by the white lies and mild hypocrisies that good manners demand. Here, she seems to be boosting her ego at the expense of her mother's happiness. Her precocious writing talent and self-awareness sometimes obscure the fact that Anne is very young. This entry reminds readers that she's not superhuman—she's still an ordinary teenager.

The anxiety created by the warfare taking place outside the annex is real and palpable. As Anne notes on May 1, 1943, the fighting was so fierce that she assumed she and the other residents would be forced to pack up and leave. Her mother responds chillingly, "Where would you go?" Nonetheless, Anne admits that she "lives in a paradise compared to the Jews who aren't in hiding" and still assumes that there will come a time after the war is over "when everything has returned to normal."

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