In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, what are the mental states of Anne's mother and sister? 

In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, what are the mental states of Anne's mother and sister?

 

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Frank and Margot seem to be fairly fragile women when it comes to anxiety or stress. For example, when the Franks first get to the Secret Annex in July of 1942, Mr. Frank and Anne keep busy unpacking boxes and setting up their living quarters while Margot and Mrs. Frank need to relax and sleep. Anne also explains the following on that first day about her sister and mother:

"Mummy and Margot were not in a fit state to take part, they were tired and lay down on their beds, they were miserable, and lots more besides . . . Mummy and Margot were too tired and keyed up to eat, and Daddy and I were too busy" (19).

Although Mrs. Frank and Margot are prone to experience a sense of heightened anxiety, they are always in control of their emotions and manners. For example, there are a few times when Anne mentions that Mrs. Van Daan blushes but Mrs. Frank does not. Mrs. Frank can hold her own in an argument and not show a bit of frustration or anger if she so chooses. On the other hand, she does get very frustrated with Anne at times because she is a mother who wants to take care of her daughter. Mrs. Frank doesn't need to worry about Margot, though, because Anne characterizes her sister in the following way:

“I might tell you I don’t want to be in the least like Margot. She is much too soft and passive for my liking, and allows everyone to talk her around, and gives in about everything. I want to be a stronger character!” (66).

In this passage, Anne says that Margot is soft and passive, which might suggest that she isn't as strong-minded as Anne. It might also mean that Margot is simply well-mannered and shy. Nevertheless, based on Anne's perspective, Margot and her Mother are not as independent or strong-minded as she is. For the most part, though, Margot and Mrs. Frank hold in a lot of their anxiety and try not to impose their states of mind on anyone else.

 

Further Reading:
Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

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