The Diary of Anne Frank or The Diary of a Young Girl  » Books  »
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  • It is of course impossible to fully place yourself in a true-life character’s shoes and experience things just as they do, but Anne Frank certainly makes it easier with her writing
  • I think when you study something in school or university, something is taken away from the work, usually because the course demands students read the work in a certain way
  • Anne is full of hope for the future and wishes the best for everyone when the war is over

    • by Clive Reames
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      ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is quite easily among the most celebrated written works of the Twentieth Century, being studied at universities and school all over the world, adapted into critically acclaimed stage plays, films and television serials and specials, and becoming apart of history and of Western culture. All this stems from one teenage girl who wrote about her life in the most extraordinary and horrible of times.

      Anne Frank, with her parents, sister, a family of three and later joined by a dentist, went into hiding in 1942 Nazis-occupied Amsterdam to escape the persecution of the Jewish communities and threat of deportation to the labour and concentration camps. The group of eight hid in the two top floors of a building owned by her father Otto’s business firm, concealed by a hidden door behind a bookcase, and they were protected and provided by a group of work colleagues and family friends, under great risk to themselves.

      Throughout this time, Anne kept a diary, not only chronicling the group’s new conditions and the daily life in what was called ‘The Secret Annexe’, but also of herself maturing into a fine young woman. Sadly, in August 1944, the diary abruptly ends: someone betrayed them and the eight and their helpers were discovered and arrested by the Dutch SS. The eight in hiding were taken to different concentrations camps. All but Otto Frank died in the camps, some of them tragically weeks or even days before the camps


      were liberated by Allied Forces.

      Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam and with the help of his colleagues was able to find Anne’s diary, left behind when they were arrested. Otto Frank spent the remainder of his life conveying the messages in his daughter’s diary, getting it published in Dutch in 1947. The diary would take on a life of its own, being published in over fifty-five countries and selling millions of copies.

      Needless to say, tragedy and history combined have made this an important piece of written work, undoubtedly one to read and one to push for others to read and to pass on. What perhaps is not so clear are the contents of the work and what people will be experiencing when reading it. These are the things that are not usually talked about in a classroom, where the focus is placed on history. When it is studied, Anne Frank’s diary is either put forward in history classes to show an example of the harsh treatment of Jews in Nazis-occupied countries, or in literature classes as a piece of worthy writing. ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is unique in that it is both of these things and neither of them at the same time: it is so much more.

      What strikes me most about ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is Anne Frank herself, and what a wonderful young woman she was. She was a typical teenager in many ways, with her own take on life that was usually at odds with the people around her. She was a chatterbox, offering her opinion whether it was wanted or not. She adored her father but always felt separate from him as well, and did not get on well with her mother. She could not bring herself to be anything but herself. All these and more are not observations the reader picks up over the course of the diary, but are her own observations. Anne was so in tune with herself and her thought processes and understanding of things around her, distinctly self-aware or her faults and frailties as well as her good points. She is also aware of how the world, in particular how people, work. Whether she was right or wrong, Anne Frank was a young woman with enormous insight into the world around her. Certainly when I was that age I never had even the smallest fraction of the insight and understand that Anne has, and I still don’t.

      Anne is also a tremendously gifted and eloquent writer. Her descriptions of her surroundings and her life are vivid and hold true. It is of course impossible to fully place yourself in a true-life character’s shoes and experience things just as they do, but Anne Frank certainly makes it easier with her writing. She has a natural writer’s eye for detail of what she is observing around her, and for putting them in words that not only are easy to read and understand,


      • The Diary of Anne Frank or The Diary of a Young Girl
      but also beautifully written, conjuring up exact images and ideas of what she went through. It would have been a wonderful and gifted writer had she survived.

      I had first come across the story of Anne Frank through middle school, where we read the stage play version of the diary, and later one of the television specials based on the diary. In neither of these or in later film and television versions I had seen or experienced had I got across what I did when reading the diary. I do not think it is only because we were reading and watching second-hand material based on the original diary. I think when you study something in school or university, something is taken away from the work, usually because the course demands students read the work in a certain way. One may enjoy reading the work, but it will not be the same as when you read something out of the blue, for your own interests. Also, when reading it in a school and university setting, the writer and his or her death are put forward first, and then the students must read the work. Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf’s work is studied in this fashion as well. While it may get you to read the work in a certain way, you still miss something.

      So what was missing from the other versions of her diary that I got from her original work? I think it was Anne herself. It

      was her hopeful spirit. That she and her family and friends suffered greatly during their life is tragic, and that most of them including Anne’s lives were cut short makes the tragedy even worse. However, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is not a tragic work. Anne is full of hope for the future and wishes the best for everyone when the war is over. Although young and living in uncomfortable and stressful conditions, her spirit still shines through at the worst of times and in happier times. She is mature and understanding beyond her years, and wishes to experience love and life when they can finally leave their hiding place. She wishes to see the people around her be happy and to reach their full potential, and understands them seemingly better than they know themselves, even if they do not see this and see her as a problematic child.

      This is what I want to take away from reading ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’. It is not the history behind the diary, or the tragedy of another needlessly wasted life. It is the wonderful, loving and independent spirit of a young woman who wishes to share her spirit with others. She says in the diary that she wanted to go on living even after death. Her diary has made part of the wish come true. Keeping her spirit alive is another, and is something we all should remember. That would be the ultimate tribute to Anne Frank.




0
Mary Cee says :

re : Anne is full of hope for the future and wishes the best for everyone when the war is over
It kind of overwhelmed me at the time I finished her diary. She’s so young and full of youthful dreams.

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Clive Reames replies :

It can be overwhelming, yes. And rightly so, this is why people should read this book.

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0
Sabrina Mendez says :

The Second World War was one of the most tragic periods in the history of the Jewish people (and the world). In History, the name of the Holocaust is identified with what is also technically known in Nazi terminology as the “final solution” and to the Jewish terminology: the attempt to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe and culminated in death Of about 6 million Jews. Among the methods used were asphyxiation by poison gas, shooting, hanging, forced labor, hunger, pseudo-scientific experiments, medical torture and beatings.

The Nazi decision to carry out the genocide was taken between late summer and early fall of 1941 and the genocidal program reached its climax in the spring of 1942. In charge of its planning, administrative organization and supervision was Heinrich Himmler. Moreover, it was Adolf Hitler’s repeated antisemitic murderous rhetoric that encouraged the execution of the massacres, which directly counted on his approval.

The story is unfolded in Holland, Amsterdam. The whole environment is precarious. Because they were hidden, they only had what they needed. It is noteworthy that as they had planned to move to that place, they were gradually taking the things they would need for their hidden life. The entrance to the back house was hidden behind a library. The site had two floors, and a loft. At the bottom were two bedrooms and a small bathroom and on the top the kitchen, dining room and beds of the Van Daan, all in one room. The attic was used as a deposit and Peter’s room. To order, a schedule was made for the use of the bathroom and the place that each person would use to bathe.

Anne Frank’s diary, consecrated as part of the contemporary universal literature of the twentieth century, is ultimately a unique testimony in its kind, about the horror, the Nazi barbarism, about the feelings and experiences of Anne herself and her companions. This newspaper shows us the stark reality of seven people who remained hiding from all these atrocities. They, despite the circumstances never gave up in the face of adversity, never lost hope that the nightmare would end and they could be free people and enjoy life. Anne was very faithful to her beliefs, but she never evoked her God to ask for help, but she always tried to see the good side of everything.

Most of the book consists of a monologue that the protagonist Anne does when she writes in her diary all her thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences that happen to her in the shelter where she lives. She interacts with “Kitty,” a name she placed in her diary which she treated as if she were telling her everything best friend.

From its first year of publication in 1947 until now, the journal of Anne Frank, has always been published in an abbreviated version, which presents a series of modifications and corrections in terms of language and style of the author, to make more compressible, complete and Authentic reading, offering the reader the possibility of penetrating more deeply with the ideas and feelings of Anne Frank, nevertheless it must be taken into account that the author of this work was a girl of just 13 years of age.

It is curious to know that after mankind has experienced fatal experiences, nowadays larger planes are being built, increasingly powerful bombs, billions are destined daily to these causes and not even a penny is reserved for medicine, The artists and the poor. After all, the greatest threat of humanity is the same man.

The atmosphere in the story is one of tension. The fear and anguish of being discovered and sent to concentration camps is what prevails in the newspaper. Sometimes you can see the desperation to breathe the fresh air and feel the natural light, however, thanks to the contributions of the tranquility of Mr. Frank the place almost always stays in harmony. In addition, the amount of books they provided were distracting factors and provided other topics of conversation that reassured them and away from the daily bad news.

On the other hand, the atmosphere between Anne and Peter and after living together for a while, is different. When they reached puberty they began to feel attraction for each other. There came a time when they talked almost always, they ventured into their intimacies and concerns, they laughed at curious things, they saw what was happening from another point of view and while the elders had little hope of getting out alive from the war, they made plans For the after.

As a recommendation, this reading is primordial because it allows you to enlarge your general knowledge and it’s a really interesting story.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2013. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1722051610270731/k2311a0522/5.22.13
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