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In reading Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl, explain how war affects common people.

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kush | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2007 at 9:01 PM via web

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In reading Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl, explain how war affects common people.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 14, 2007 at 7:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Wow! I don't think there's enough room here to describe the many ways war affects common people. The first things you might think of are death and destruction. Modern wars are not confined to battlefields like Gettysburg or Shiloh or Bull Run. Wars are fought in the cities, in the countryside--everywhere the enemy might be found. A good example of how warfare affects civilians is a scene in the movie "Black Hawk Down" in which an American soldier has been separated from his unit and is trying to get back to them. To avoid being shot, he breaks down the door of a house and finds a woman and her children huddled together in fear. Think what it might be like if a battle took place in your own neighborhood.

Americans had to make many changes in their lifestyles during  World War II (see the site linked below). There is a discussion of the effects of war on civilians throughout history right here on eNotes (see below). See also the eNotes article on genocide (linked below).

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 14, 2007 at 8:15 AM (Answer #2)

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As shown in this book, war causes lonliness and fear.  The situation that Anne is in isn't the most common, but the lonliness she feels is.  As a result of war, people are often separated from family members and other loved ones.  This separation leads to a sense of alienation and a feeling of lonliness.  The uncertainty of war causes fear.  Will people I love die?  Will the battle come close to me?  What will happen with my job and my country?  Anne shows this fear, every time the family has to be concerned about what is happening outside their little hiding place.  She also shows fear about her future.  How will she experience all the things she is supposed to with the world so upside down?

These feelings can lead to a loss of innocence.  Anne's diary shows this the best.  She tries to hold on to the innocence of her youth, but slowly her concerns go from school and parties to life and death.  She grows up fast, engaging in a relationship with Peter and rebelling against her mother, because the situation has forced her to.  Most "common people" go through the same loss.  The news reports, the pictures and footage of war-time violence and tragedy, help to move this along in this day and age.

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