Diary of a Young Girl

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title   Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

author   Anne Frank

type of work   Diary

genre   Diary; historical nonfiction

language   Dutch

time and place written   Amsterdam, 1942–1945

date of first publication  1947

publisher   Doubleday

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.

tense   Present

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.