Diary of a Young Girl

by: Anne Frank

Identity

Quotes Identity
1

I don’t fit in with them, and I’ve felt that clearly in the last few weeks. They’re so sentimental together, but I’d rather be sentimental on my own.

Soon after Anne and her family move to the Annex, she realizes how much her personality clashes with her mother’s and sister’s personalities. Throughout her diary, Anne defines her identity simply as being different from every other person in her family. Perhaps because she has no one else to talk to and to help shape her identity, she reacts to being in such close quarters with her family by making sure her identity contrasts with theirs. Such an action might feel like she is developing into her own person rather than merely mimicking or absorbing the personalities of those around her.

2

Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I’m actually one of them! No, that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago.

As Anne reports on the latest news of the war, she reflects on the heartless nature of the Germans and feels horrified that she shares any part of her identity with them, as she herself was born in Germany. However, due to the Nuremberg Laws, which took away many rights for Jewish people living in Germany, she cannot actually call herself a German citizen. Even though Anne’s family moved to Holland when she was only four years old, she still longs to identify with the country of her birth.

3

All day long I hear nothing but what an exasperating child I am, and although I laugh it off and pretend not to mind, I do mind. I wish I could ask God to give me another personality, one that doesn’t antagonize everyone.

Throughout her diary, Anne writes a great deal about how she sees herself versus how others perceive her. She acts as though she delights in other people’s criticisms of her but secretly wishes she could somehow be different. Her diary, which she calls Kitty, represents the only place where Anne feels comfortable sharing or revealing her true self. Although she acts confident and silly most of the time, she appears to be just like many other insecure, vulnerable teenagers who are struggling to find their identity.

4

To be honest, I can’t imagine how anyone could say “I’m weak” and then stay that way. If you know that about yourself, why not fight it, why not develop your character?

After Anne reports that Margot and Peter often comment on how they wish they had her “spunk” and “strength,” she wonders why they don’t work on changing themselves instead of wishing they were different. To Anne, who is still growing up and finding herself, identity is not something fixed and immutable. She often writes about her own flaws and how she can go about improving on them. Her outlook and attitude set Anne apart from her peers in the Annex; she appears more ambitious and optimistic than the others in the same situation.