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The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, what kinds of relationships does Anne have with other members of the annex?

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Anne lives with seven other people during her time in the annex: Mrs. Frank, Mr. Frank, Margot, Mr. Van Daan, Mrs. Van Daan, Peter, and Mr. Dussel. Right from the beginning Anne mentions that her mother treats her like a baby and this causes some strife between them. Mrs. Frank and Margot are also very close, which makes Anne feel left out and misunderstood at times. In the entry dated Sunday, 27 September, 1942, Anne says the following about her relationship with her mother and Margot:

"Just had a big bust-up with Mummy for the umpteenth time; we simply don't get on together these days and Margot and I don't hit it off any too well either" (30).

Anne complains about her mother and Margot many times throughout her diary, but she absolutely loves her father. Anne says the following about her relationship with her father in the entry dated Saturday, 7 November, 1942:

" . . . I adore Daddy. He is the one I look up to. I don't love anyone in the world but him . . . I cling to Daddy because it is only through him that I am able to retain the remnant of family feeling" (44-45).

As far as Mr. Van Daan is concerned, Anne's relationship with him goes up and down. One day Anne says, "Mr. Van Daan and I usually manage to upset each other, it's just the opposite with Margot whom he likes very much" (24). The next day she says, "Mr. Van Daan is all sugar to me nowadays" (25). Then with Mrs. Van Daan, Anne doesn't like how emotional the woman gets; but, sometimes she feels as though Mrs. Van Daan understands her more than her own mother does. For the most part, though, Anne usually says something along the lines of the following about Mrs. Van Daan:

"Mrs. Van Daan is unbearable. I get nothing but 'blowups' from her for my continuous chatter. She is always pestering us in some way or other" (27).

According to this passage and many others like it, Anne doesn't really get along with Mrs. Van Daan. She also doesn't like the fact that Mrs. Van Daan flirts with Mr. Frank occasionally.

Then there's Mr. Dussel, her roommate and old dentist who doesn't know how to compromise. Anne attempts to schedule some time for herself in the room, but the old man fights her on the issue even after she asks politely. When Mr. Dussel is fighting with Anne over the scheduling of the room, she describes her feelings about him as follows:

"With these words the offended Anne turned her back on the very learned doctor, ignoring him completely. I was seething with rage, and thought Dussel frightfully rude (which he certainly was) and myself very friendly" (86).

Mr. Dussel seems very difficult to get along with, so there's not much of a relationship between him and anyone, let alone with Anne.

Finally, there's Peter. Anne and Peter are not interested in each other until early in 1944. By March of that year Anne says, "He used to think I was unbearable; and I returned the compliment; now I have changed my opinion . . ." (171). Anne and Peter eventually form a deeper relationship as they share their feelings with each other about life. They even start dating and acting like a couple, which causes some drama in the annex, but for them it is a beneficial and comforting relationship for the both of them.

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