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Diary of a Young Girl

Summary June 15, 1943–November 11, 1943
Summary June 15, 1943–November 11, 1943

Anne gives a cynical description of her discovery that hypocrisy rather than honesty is the only way to get along with people. She displays her newfound skill at hypocrisy in her negotiations with Mr. Dussel over the study table in their bedroom. Although she considers Mr. Dussel rude and impossible to deal with, she swallows her feelings to gain the upper hand. By maintaining her composure, Anne feels superior to the “petty and pedantic” Dussel. Her language and behavior show us that the once-lighthearted girl is becoming depressed and cynical, trusting less in the security of her parents and relying more on her own resourcefulness.

Although the Franks are being persecuted as Jews, they clearly see themselves as part of society as a whole, not members of a separate group. Mr. Frank demonstrates his open-mindedness when he decides to buy Anne a Bible. Additionally, since the Franks and the van Daans do not keep kosher but do celebrate both Jewish and Christian holidays, they most likely identified themselves as Germans first and Jews second. Their identity became unclear when Hitler came to power and they lost their German citizenship. Despite the forced segregation imposed in the Netherlands, the Franks settled in comfortably enough for Anne to consider herself part of wider Dutch society.

In this section, Anne also describes more of Miep’s role in keeping the annex running and gives us a sense of the amount of work Miep has to do to keep them supplied in secret. Anne understands Miep’s envy of the people in the annex, since the situation outside is not favorable for any of the Dutch people, even non-Jews. The people who protect the annex are under just as much stress as those inside. Nonetheless, Anne knows that Miep is unaware of the difficulties of their life in hiding, such as the constant quarreling and frustration at being in such close quarters. Miep does not understand what it is like to be a young girl, trapped in a small attic with a whole world just out of reach.

Anne’s language becomes more metaphorical in this part of the diary, as she increasingly attempts to describe her fear and depression using figurative language. She chooses to describe her situation in terms of the natural environment, the part of the world she misses most while she is in hiding. She compares herself to a bird with a broken wing and compares the eight residents to clouds caught between peace and war. Anne uses these comparisons to nature to express her feelings and desires that are too difficult to describe in literal terms.