The diary of Anne Frank

Posted by Divya at Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When Hitler had come alive in our textbooks of tenth grade, I had developed an uncanny interest in the holocaust, beyond what education demanded. This powerful and heart-breaking diary had been my first venture towards that at the age of fifteen. And I had been pleasantly surprised at how much Anne seemed like a familiar teenager to me back then. I had even stolen her idea to address her diary entries and created an imaginary friend Maya for my intermittent diary-keeping.

I re-read this diary recently and it had evoked the same emotions I had felt almost ten years ago. Anne is in no way the perfect person. She had inhibitions, immaturity, resentments and everything that marks the coming of age of any teenager. But, someone with this normal life had to be succumbed to fear and mortal hiding makes it enduring.

Anne writes to Kitty, as she christens her diary, about her life since her thirteenth birthday. The entries begin when her family is at their home in Netherlands though they are already facing restrictions, like, unable to travel by car for being jews. She writes about her whims as a school girl, of friends, of boys who have a crush on her; it almost seems like nothing can go wrong. Almost a few pages hence, the dramatic change of events occurs and her family goes into hiding; then on her writing takes a new direction. It is almost difficult to imagine how such close confinements can render members of the same family to display their worst and best sides.

Anne writes about the differences, jealousies and other frustrations that can only arise with close kin. She expresses envy towards Margot, for being the perfect apple of the eye to her mother and in later entries her relationship with her mother only deteriorates further. She considers her relationship to her father closer. As she matures, she finds the kinship with Margot and even remarks “She's not nearly so catty these days and is becoming a real friend.”

Adding to the troubles of hiding, Anne’s family is also accompanied by Pels family. Though she detests Peter in the beginning, they finally enter into a romantic hold, with whom, Anne even shares her first kiss. However, she is ambivalent towards the senior Pels and often blames them for sarcasm and selfishness.

Beyond all the difficulties faced, Anne often hopes to return to school after the war, has ambitions to be a journalist, and wishes a life like it had always been. To show such maturity and sanguineness in the time of dark and death may in itself be strength of character displayed by Anne. She is open to her feelings, evident from her narrative and willingness to edit the previous entries to be made readable to all.

Take in Anne’s two years, to understand the many ways living in hell had been during the worst world war. Read her entries to take in life of the innocents, who were only as human as we all are, looking forward to sunny days after the doused ones. Anne, who had never stopped dreaming or living, is definitely the most alive exemplary of a fateful end...


Shona on November 18, 2009 at 6:47 AM said...

This is one of my all time fav. Can't seem to get enough of it. She definitely is a emblem for hoping and dreaming for a better future. Sheer passion of her conviction towards a better tomorrow is palpable in the book.


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