The diary of Anne Frank Essay, written over a two-year period, tells
about her life while she and her family are in hiding in Holland.
They are staying in a secret attic of the office building where Mr.
Frank used to work in order to escape from the Nazis during World
War II. During their stay in the annex, they are supported by
several people in the office building, who risk their own lives to
insure the secrecy of the Jewish hideout and to provide them with
food and basic supplies.
Much of Anne’s diary tells about the daily routine of the occupants
of the attic.
It also describes in detail the characters of Anne’s
father, mother, and sister, as well as the characters of the three Van
Daans and Mr. Dussel, who share the attic with them. Anne’s
difficult situation is made more complicated by her own
adolescence. Her maturing process, coupled with the misery of her
cramped quarters and her constant fear of discovery and capture, is
clearly seen in the pages of the diary. She tells of the conflicts she
has with her mother and sister, the support she receives from her
father, the love that develops between her and Peter Van Daan, the
constant bickering of the inhabitants of the attic, and the
deprivations that she must endure while in hiding. She also gives a
detailed accounting of what is occurring in the war, especially in
Holland, and reflects upon her past life.
The straightforward and simple diary is filled with conflicting
emotions, ranging from depression and despair to cheerfulness and
pleasure. Anne constantly tries to see the good side of things and to
have hope in spite of the misery and fear she faces on a daily basis.
She even tells of some humorous incidents that occur within the
annex. When the air raids and bombings come closer to the office
building, however, it is harder for her to be positive, but she tries
her best to rally her courage and find a zest for living. When she
falls in love with Peter, she does, indeed, gain a new lease on life
and a strong desire to survive. Unfortunately, her diary is left
unfinished, for she, her family, and the other occupants of the
annex are discovered by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration
The general horror of war, coupled with the specific horrors that
the Nazis inflicted upon the Jews, is the major theme of the diary.
Anne Frank, the young teenage girl who writes the diary,
experiences the pain of war first-hand. In order to try and escape
the Nazi extermination of Jewish people, her family and the Van
Daans go into hiding in Amsterdam, Holland. In spite of their
efforts to save themselves, all of the Franks and Van Daans are
captured and sent to a concentration camp. Only Otto Frank
survives the ordeal.
The pain of adolescence is a second important theme of the novel.
Maturing into adulthood is never easy for a young person, but
Anne’s growing up is made even more difficult by the external war
that rages around her, the cramped quarters which offer her no
privacy or escape, and the constant fear of discovery and death.
A third important theme in the diary is the power of love.
Surrounded by family and friends, Anne feels nurtured amidst the
horror and turmoil of war. She knows that love is all-important and
can conquer the worst of things. In spite of her miserable situation,
Anne maintains a love of life and a belief in the basic goodness of
mankind. Her unshakable faith in love and goodness gives her
hope that everything will turn out all right.
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