The Diary Of A Young Girl


Symbols and Themes

Coming of Age/Identity/Independence

Anne’s diary is not only an important historical text documenting the firsthand experiences of Jewish people during the Holocaust, but is also the diary of a girl growing into a young woman. She often writes about feeling misunderstood and about her struggle to define herself as an individual. During her two years in hiding, Anne comes of age, often analyzing herself and her relationship with her family. Within their cloistered environment, Anne develops an individual identity and begins to see herself as separate from her family. She contrasts her desire to be an independent, modern woman with a career with her mother’s role as wife and mother, and reflects on her parents’ relationship with each other in comparison to the relationship she would like to have with a partner. Anne also confronts the question of her identity as a Jewish person, and wants to be seen and accepted for who she is, not only as the member of an oppressed group of people.

Human Behavior in Times of Crisis

Anne describes in detail many of the petty things people do, such as Mr. Dussel hoarding food and Mrs. Van Daan not sharing her linens and dishes. There are also the bigger atrocities being committed, of course, during this time, which Anne struggles to understand. At the same time, she has a deep sense of gratitude and wonder at the goodness of some people, such as the Dutch people who are putting their own lives in danger to protect her and the others in the annex. She also sees great goodness in her father, who is perpetually optimistic and who always thinks of others before himself. She expresses a wish to be like her father, and in many ways she is, as she manages to maintain her sensitivity, compassion, and optimism under seemingly impossible circumstances, writing that “in spite of everything, I really do believe people are truly good at heart.” Even in the midst of the horrors that surround Anne, she is also given the opportunity to see people behaving with incredible...

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Essays About The Diary Of A Young Girl