The Diary of a Young Girl Essay - Critical Context

Anne Frank

Critical Context

The Diary of a Young Girl, originally published in Dutch, has been translated into almost every language, and it has been successfully presented both as a stage play and as a film. The house where the Franks were hidden has been turned into a museum, visited by young people from all nations, and there are traveling exhibits illustrating her life in the secret annex. In addition, a village for refugees in Germany has been named after Anne Frank.

The book has had such a great impact because it is a poignant record of the struggles of adolescence: the anger, the rebellion, the aspirations and doubts, first love, and the search for an authentic self. Frank is a vibrant and passionate personality, full of curiosity about life and vague longings that she sometimes cannot understand. The Diary of a Young Girl is both tender and humorous, as Frank has the capacity to laugh at herself and to make readers laugh with her. The book traces her slow growth toward maturity as she changes from a mischievous child into an individual who knows what she wants to do with her life. The book is twofold in its appeal: It portrays the storms and mood swings of adolescence in a manner that is immediately recognizable to a young audience, and at the same time, it is utterly unique in its setting and circumstances, therefore affording young readers a glimpse of life beyond their customary horizon. For her courage and optimism in adversity, Frank has become a model and symbol for readers young and old alike.