Diary of a Young Girl

by: Anne Frank

March 14, 1944–April 11, 1944

Summary March 14, 1944–April 11, 1944

Analysis

As the danger increases, Anne’s perspective about her future continues to mature. She continually shifts back and forth between feeling that she is about to die and making plans for her future. The closest encounter thus far with the police makes Anne contemplate death more seriously. The possibility of the family being discovered only increases with time, and the inhabitants take turns contemplating how they will behave when they are arrested. Anne begins to worry that she will not live to accomplish any of the things she hopes to, like writing a novel or pursuing her hobbies. However, she continues to think about her future and decides how she will identify herself after the war.

Although at the beginning of the diary she saw herself as a child, Anne is now beginning to discover her place in the world and see herself as an adult. In an early entry, on June 20, 1942, she had written, “It seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl,” because she did not think her thoughts were important for anyone except herself. Now, however, she is starting to become aware of the broader significance of her experience and realizes the potential value of sharing her words with others. With a newfound understanding of her own mortality, Anne recognizes the injustice of her fate more fully. She also realizes the value of her diary and her personal thoughts, and she expresses her hope that her diary will reach people after the war. Anne’s written words about this hope are what convince her father to share the diary with others.

Otto Frank understandably chose to omit several passages from this section, including those concerning Anne’s sexual curiosity. He believed that these were personal thoughts and were not necessarily suitable for a young-adult audience. These moments in which Anne expresses her sexuality are very important. We see Anne as a girl, rather than a sort of sterilized saint or victimized martyr. While Anne is a unique and remarkable individual with a tragic experience, we also see her as a normal girl, with typical human fears and desires. If Anne’s diary entries focused only on the war or her hiding, we would feel less connected to her tragedy. However, Anne intersperses her thoughts about death and the war with accounts of time spent with Peter and her growing sexuality. We feel a greater connection and identification with Anne, and her tragedy causes even more emotional impact.