I see the eight of us in the Annex as if we were a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing black clouds. . . . [They loom] before us like an impenetrable wall, trying to crush us, but not yet able to. I can only cry out and implore, “Oh ring, ring, open wide and let us out!”
Anne records this vivid image on November 8, 1943, after living in the annex for more than a year. As the war rages on and people throughout Europe suffer, Anne is starting to become depressed and pessimistic about her family’s chances of survival. She alternates between imagining what her future will be like and fearing that she and her family will be discovered at any time. Anne’s writing becomes more metaphoric as she tries to express her fears and the anxiety and desperation that plague the residents of the annex. Nature is perhaps what Anne misses most about the outside world, so it follows that she describes her feeling of claustrophobia and entrapment with an image of nature. The image of blue sky suggests freedom. Dark clouds, signifying the oppression and restrictions on the Jews, cover the sky, suffocating Anne and the annex’s other inhabitants. Anne’s blue sky represents liberation. Both the sky and freedom remain beyond her reach.