The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Please give a character analysis of Otto Frank from Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is a certain sadness in Mr. Frank hiding in the Annexe.  The character traits that he displays and represents are the same elements that are needed in a world where humanity and dignity have disappeared.  I believe that we see this throughout the diary.  Mr. Frank is the one who is able to keep everyone together in the challenges of living in the Annexe.  He has a general nature to him that brings community and solidarity to everyone.  He is the solitary force that allows everyone to feel safe and free from horrific fears of what is happening outside.  His ability to work with everyone is very surprising given how wealthy he was in his life before the hiding.  For example, Mrs. Frank displays an attitude of being uncomfortable and inconvenienced by life in the Annexe.  Mr. Frank does not display the same feelings, as he understands what is at stake and does his best to have others share his own understanding in grasping the intensity of the moment.  Mr. Frank's goodness is what ends up defining him the most in the narrative.  There is a certain hollowness when it is learned that he is the only one who survives.  The goodness of his character is one that is not to be shared with his family when the camps are liberated.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Clearly, the fact that Otto Frank was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust and the war suggests something about his strength of character and will. Otto Frank worked in Frankfurt as a businessman, and achieved great success. He is the architect of their removal and hiding and the way that they were able to remain undiscovered for so long indicates how clever, intelligent and canny he was. Also, he was a very good reader of persons, choosing very carefully the right kind of people to take into his confidence who would help him and his family.

Although Otto Frank's plan ended in failure it is important not to underestimate what he actually achieved: for more than two years he succeeded in protecting his family whilst also continuing to have a role in running his own business. This speaks volumes about his strength and foresight. His role as unofficial tutor to the three children also indicates his intelligence. In the face of danger, perhaps because of his own military experience, he responds rationally and calmly, not with fear or terror. Perhaps it is this ability that allows him to survive the horrors of the concentration camps.

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