full title Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
author Anne Frank
type of work Diary
genre Diary; historical nonfiction
time and place written Amsterdam, 1942–1945
date of first publication 1947
narrator Anne Frank, a teenage Jewish girl
point of view Anne speaks in the first person and addresses her diary as a friend. Although she begins writing the diary without any intention of it being read or published, she later writes with the idea that the record of her experiences might be read by others to learn more about the war.
tone Anne writes from the perspective of a young girl, so her tone is often emotional and insecure, and she is both critical of herself and others. Her accounts are highly personal and philosophical. She expresses her deep struggle to understand her evolving self, both in relation to her family and to the tumultuous world outside the annex.
setting (time) June 12, 1942–August 1, 1944
setting (place) Amsterdam, the Netherlands
protagonist Anne Frank
major conflict The perils of living in hiding to escape Nazi persecution of Jewish people; this immediate struggle in Anne’s life occurs within the context of the sweeping conflict of World War II
themes The loneliness of adolescence; the inward versus the outward self; generosity and greed in wartime
motifs Becoming a woman; fear
symbols Hanneli; Anne’s grandmother
foreshadowing There is no foreshadowing, since the diary is written in the present tense and Anne had no ability to discern the future. However, constant break-ins, the imprisonment of people who have been providing rations, growing Dutch anti-Semitism, and the probable capture of Anne’s friends, including Hanneli, all demonstrate the impending danger that threatens the inhabitants of the annex.