Anne Frank's First & Last Diary Entries

Instructor: Margaret Stone

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

When Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday, she is a carefree teenager. Frank writes the final entry in the diary just two years later, but her life and her world have changed drastically as a result of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Writing Goals

On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank writes a short introductory note in her new diary. She expresses her desire to use the diary as a confidante and as a 'great source of comfort and support.'

First Diary Entry

In Anne Frank's first full diary entry dated June 14, 1944, she reflects on her birthday which occurred two days previously. The entries discussing her birthday are considered a flashback. This is a literary device used to reveal past events. In the first entry, Anne Frank remembers how she woke up early in anticipation of her special day. However, since she was not allowed to get up early, Frank reports having to lie in her bed and wait.

She eventually joined her parents in the living room to open her birthday presents. The diary is the first thing she sees, and Frank calls it 'maybe one of my nicest presents.' Her other gifts include sweets, books, flowers, and a blouse.

Later that same day, Anne accompanied her friend Hanneli for the walk to school. Once there, Frank reports that she shared cookies with her class and then attended gym. Though she is unable to participate because of hip and shoulder issues, her friends let her choose the game they will play. Frank selects volleyball, and her friends encircle her to sing 'Happy Birthday' after the volleyball game.

Frank then mentions that several of her classmates, including her best friend Jacqueline van Maarsen, join her at her home to continue the celebration after school.

Frank concludes the entry at this point with a brief passage in which she reports that she has been lying in the bathtub wishing she had a dog. If she were to have a dog, Anne Frank reports, she would name it Rin Tin Tin.

The first diary entry stands in stark contrast to subsequent entries in which her normal teenage concerns are replaced by much more serious matters. Over the next two years, the diary becomes everything Anne Frank has hoped for. She is able to use the diary to reveal her hopes and dreams, and she finds the confidante she has sought.

Last Diary Entry

Soon after she starts writing in the diary, Anne Frank names it 'Kitty'. Frank's final entry, like many others in the diary, is addressed to Kitty. It is clear that the diary has become the repository of Anne's secret thoughts and desires.

The theme of Frank's last diary entry, dated August 1, 1944, is contradictions. Frank begins with a discussion of the contradictions in her own personality. She explains that though she often appears talkative and 'superficial', she is actually hiding a 'better side.' Anne says she hides her better nature for fear that others will think she is 'sentimental.'

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