Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl Summary

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  • 0:27 Anne Frank's Diary Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Margaret Stone

Margaret has taught both college and high school English and has a master's degree in English.

How would you feel about being first to stay inside all the time? Could you do it if your life depended on it? This is exactly the situation that Anne Frank faces when her family is forced to hide from the Nazis.

Anne Frank's Diary

When Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday on June 12, 1942, she knows it is a special gift. She calls the diary 'maybe one of my nicest presents.' She has no way of knowing, of course, of the important role the diary will play in recording the years she must spend in hiding.

Anne Frank's Diary Summary

Anne hopes that her diary will become her confidante, a 'great source of comfort and support.' At first she confides events involving her school friends. Her typical teenage life is interrupted, however, when the Nazis occupy Amsterdam.

Anne and her family are Jewish, and once the Nazis take control of the city, the family is endangered. The Franks go into hiding in a secret annex attached to a food factory. Anne and her family will spend two years in the annex; during this time, they're unable to leave the building because of the risk of being captured by the Nazis.

Anne continues to write in the diary during these years, recording her thoughts and feelings about coming of age under such unusual circumstances. The diary presents the daily routine of the occupants of the annex, which comes to include other inhabitants in addition to the Frank family.

Anne writes about ongoing conflicts with her mother, her relationship with her sister, and her love for her father. In addition to depicting her relationship with her family, Anne also experiences love for the first time while she is in hiding. When she develops a crush on Peter, one of the other annex residents, her father discourages the relationship. Anne goes along with her father's wishes and begins to spend less time with Peter out of respect for her father.

The annex's residents are forced to contend with many vexing issues in their daily life: boredom, conflict, and even food rationing. The fear they experience, however, permeates Anne's account of life in hiding. Anne's diary contains many passages describing the fear she experiences when bombing occurs nearby.

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