In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, what ideas do you form about Anne's relationship with the other inmates of the Secret Annex?

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When you have a lot of people locked in close quarters for months at a time, unable to leave, tensions are going to run high.  Anne had a somewhat strained relationship with her mother, and a better relationship with her father.  However, she struggled with the other family and Mr....

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When you have a lot of people locked in close quarters for months at a time, unable to leave, tensions are going to run high.  Anne had a somewhat strained relationship with her mother, and a better relationship with her father.  However, she struggled with the other family and Mr. Dusell. 

At first, Anne thought that Mr. Dussel was “a very nice man.”  However, she soon entered into conflict with him because they had to share her small room.  She called him “an old-fashioned disciplinarian and preacher of unbearably long sermons on manners.” Dussel was not used to children, and Anne was not one to back down easily.  She was frustrated with Dussel’s lack of understanding of the rules of the Annex and his continually harping on her about her behavior. 

Anne felt that all of the adults were ganging up on her. 

Mr. Dussel [is] such a tattletale and [singles out] Mother to be the recipient of his reports. If Mr. Dussel's just read me the riot act, Mother lectures me all over again, this time throwing the whole book at me. And if I'm really lucky, Mrs. van D. calls me to account five minutes later and lays down the law as well! (December 2, 1942) 

Anne was under increased scrutiny because there were so many adults watching her, and she felt that no one understood her.  Her relationship with her mother was strained, because she felt that her mother was too critical of her.  She felt that her mother treated her “like a baby.” 

Anne’s relationship with Peter was mixed. At first, it seemed that the two of them would never get along.  She described him at first as “a shy, awkward boy whose company won't amount to much.”  She also called him “hypersensitive and lazy.” 

I don't think Peter's gotten any nicer. He's an obnoxious boy who lies around on his bed all day, only rousing himself to do a little carpentry work before returning to his nap. What a dope! (August 21, 1942) 

Anne says she will never learn to love Peter “like a brother,” but she comes first to tolerate him and then to like his company.  She starts to describe him as “amusing” and once he overcomes his shyness she is able to have frank conversations with him that she can’t have with other adults.  It helps that Peter has his own room.  In time, Anne comes to depend on Peter.

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