The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | May 5–May 19, 1944 | Summary



May 5–May 6, 1944

On May 5, Anne Frank reports that her father is upset with her. He had thought she and Peter van Daan were just friends and that she would obey his injunction to show restraint by not visiting Peter alone as often. Anne writes her father a long, defiant letter explaining why she's not going to take his advice. She has had enough of masking her true self to satisfy the adults around her. "Whatever you do, just leave me alone!" she says at the end.

May 7, 1944

On May 7, she describes her father's reaction. Mr. Frank says he's never read anything so hurtful and that he and her mother "have done nothing to deserve such a response." Anne is devastated by this discussion. "This is the worst thing I've ever done in my entire life," she says. "It's good that somebody has finally cut me down to size, has broken my pride." She is especially ashamed when her father forgives her. She vows to improve herself.

May 8, 1944–May 19, 1944

Food supplies have declined to such a point that the residents of the Secret Annex are hungry all the time. Tempers are so short that Peter and his mother have an actual slapping match. Anne still studies with great energy and works on various short stories in addition to keeping her diary. She also decides that when the war is over she'll write a book called The Secret Annex.

Some entries detail humorous episodes from the Annex, including Mr. Dussel's toilet schedule, a dirty joke that points up how young people know more about sex than their elders think they do, an argument about the war between Mr. and Mrs. van Daan. Anne also includes a list of the gifts Anne's father receives on his birthday, and a list of the residents' subjects of study and reading material.


On May 8, Anne mentions that Margot Frank wants to be a maternity nurse in Palestine. Why Palestine? Because the modern country of Israel did not come into being until 1948. Early Jewish pioneers had arrived in the area called Palestine in much of the 19th century, and after 1920, more Jews began emigrating there. After World War II, the area still being called Palestine was partitioned into a Jewish zone—Israel—and an Arab one that kept the name Palestine.

Anne Frank's diary mixes a surprising number of moods, from the sometimes bratty adolescent rantings of the author herself to the terrors of life in wartime. There is also a surprising amount of humor to be found in Anne's account of life in the Secret Annex. Among these entries are several stories involving body humor, including an unfortunate episode with a urinating cat and Mr. Dussel's ridiculously precise schedule of going to the bathroom. Anne's own sense of humor is lively, and her ability to observe the absurdities of life in the Annex shows how she can write comedy as well as serious, dramatic material. That humor can exist in such a frightening environment says a lot about the ability of the residents to persevere and maintain their humanity in the face of extreme danger.

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