This isn’t that much of a summary than my thoughts on The Diary of a Young Girl, a diary written by Anne Frank throughout the years 1942 to 1944, but I respect this girl and here are my thoughts as a tribute to the girl who could have been so much more than just a Jewish girl who died during the Holocaust, were she given a chance.

I’m going to be more focused on emotions than facts but just in case you don’t know who she is, let me properly introduce her to you(these are all facts, mind you). Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank was a German-born Jewish girl born to Edith and Otto Frank on 12th June 1929. She lived in or near Amsterdam until 1942, when persecutions of Jews reached a sky-limit. (If you’ve studied history then you probably know about the Holocaust. If not, I suggest you check it out whenever possible) Then, she and family had to go into hiding in her father’s former workplace where some loyal friends kept them a secret. She recorded her daily life in a journal until the day they were caught (from 12 June 1942 to 1st August 1944) She was then transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps along with her sister, where, they were rumored to died of typhus a few months later. It was tragic. Tragic but factual. Now that we have all the formal introductions aside, let me tell you what a jem of a person she truly was and what she had endured just because a certain person wanted a significant part of the population to be destroyed, for whatever deranged reason.

I read this novel in 10th grade as it was necessary for us to. Until then I wasn’t properly introduced to reading and writing. All we knew were textbooks and that was that. But then Anne Franks’s diary came into my hands and has always had a special place since then and will continue to do so always. I was in my beginning teen years myself when I first read it, and I related to it so much that I felt myself reflected through those words. Anne Frank was a popular girl in the school, always smiling and having a lot of admirers. However, she always felt that she never had a true friend. Maybe it was her own fault but she could never tell. So she received this diary on her 13th birthday and started writing her feelings right away. Throughout the whole time span of this diary we see how she transforms from a loud, ‘rebellious’ teenager to a person with depth and compassion, all the while never losing her spirit. She was the epitome of optimism and was a kind soul, always encouraging others to stay positive. The evidence of her development as a person can be shown from the following passages in the novel.

Everyone thinks I’m showing off when I talk, ridiculous when I’m silent, insolent when I answer, cunning when I have a good idea, lazy when I’m tired, selfish when I eat one bite more than I should.”- Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Here, Anne tells us how the adults usually operate. Being a teenager myself, I quite agree to this, though this unjustness is not just limited to the family but to the whole society and their ‘norms’. A person loses all sense of self in trying to fit in with everyone. Another passage says,

I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me; I can’t do anything to change events anyway.”Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

This was the truth she kept hidden from everyone; how worthless and insignificant she felt. Even though on the surface, she was always smiling, she couldn’t help feeling down because deep down, she knew their ugly reality. The innocent, playful girl was lost in the midst of all this and was replaced by a mature, understanding girl who knew the value of life. She kept struggling with her inner self, forcing herself not to lose hope and just keep going. She didn’t have a particularly good relationship with her mother but she grew respectful after knowing the hardships endured by her parents. She wanted everyone to just quit fighting and live peacefully, with just love amongst them. She never really wrote about political issues, until one day that she wrote two letters expressing exactly how she felt about the political situation in Germany. She fell in love with Peter (another Jew occupant living with the Franks), improvised her relationship with her sister and overall understood the power of self love and appreciation. Anne was a great judge of her own character and always kept a critic’s eye upon herself. It always breaks my heart that this wonderful person died just a few months before they all were freed. She could been such a great person Following are a few excerpts which show that she was a girl who could appreciate little things while remaining head-strong.

As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?

People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.

I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

At last I’d just like to say that Anne Frank taught me a lot of things. Compassion, holding on to your thoughts, self-love, loving others, appreciating small things, to name a few. No matter how hard the situation is, no matter how bad you feel, always stay positive, find something to be happy about and live life to the fullest. If a Jewish girl, during the Holocaust, which meant eventual death for her, can stay positive and appreciate everything, so can you.

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Responses

  1. Supraja

    If only all reviews were like yours, I’d have picked this book up a long time ago. It’s one of those books that will always be on my TBR list, even if I’m too much of a coward to actually read it. How can one knowingly go towards heartbreak?

    1. Kanishka Chomwal Post author

      Aw you are too kind, Supraja. But you know, heartbreak is just one of the many experiences. I myself have cried and broke my heart over several books and trust me getting you heart breaken by a book is the best way to do it. I know the struggles of a huge TBR but please pick it up. It’s a real eye-opener to so many aspects of human life.