The Diary of Anne Frank sheds light on the life of a young Jewish girl in hiding during World War II. While much of her situation is unusual, there are still many things that Anne experiences just like any other adolescent. Anne experiences the trials of sisterhood, intimacy with someone...
The Diary of Anne Frank sheds light on the life of a young Jewish girl in hiding during World War II. While much of her situation is unusual, there are still many things that Anne experiences just like any other adolescent. Anne experiences the trials of sisterhood, intimacy with someone she likes, and—perhaps most normal of all—very dynamic relationships with her parents.
From the beginning of their time in hiding, Anne has a close relationship with her father, Otto Frank, often lovingly referring to him as Pim. It is Otto who gave his daughter the famous diary in which Anne details their time in hiding and which will be published after the war. In one of her very first entries, Anne describes talking to her father about staying safe in hiding, and her tone indicates that she feels safe and at ease knowing that they are in hiding together. Her mother, on the other hand, is described as “unbearable” in the very same entry. “She insists on treating me like a baby, which I loathe,” Anne writes. Like most girls her age, Anne resents her mother for attempting to coddle and care for her. When expressing concern or care for her daughter, Mrs. Frank is very often dismissed or met with aggression from Anne.
Much of this aggression toward her mother seems to be rooted in the fact that Anne perceives her older sister, Margot, to be the “perfect” daughter. Like many younger siblings, Anne feels that she is constantly compared to her older sister, especially by her mother. In an argument Anne documents between herself and her mother, she writes that she feels like everything her sister does is right and everything she does is wrong. She believes that her mother is “against her” and that Margot is the better-liked daughter. Often Otto appears in Anne’s diary to come to her aid in conflicts with her mother. He is the parent that “gets her.” In January of 1944, after roughly a year and a half in hiding, Anne writes, “Mother still does not understand me. But then I don’t understand her either.” During their time in the annex, their relationship is unchanged.
At this same time, Anne and Peter Van Daan begin to grow close, finding comfort in having someone the same age to share their experiences with. This budding relationship leads to arguments early on between Anne and her mother. Mrs. Frank practically begs Anne to show some modesty and talk with Peter in the common area, not behind closed doors. Anne stays true to her feelings and tells her mother that she is not doing anything wrong and does not care what anyone, especially the nosy Mrs. Van Daan, has to say about her and Peter.
One can infer that an underlying reason why Anne and her mother continuously butt heads is that they are both stubborn and act on emotions. In this particular argument about Peter, Mrs. Frank fears how the situation looks and how her daughter's actions are observed by others, while Anne fears that the one friend she has will be taken from her. Both women are firm in their opinions and stand their ground before Otto steps in. Often, Otto is described as comforting Anne after arguments with her mother, or getting between the two of them in a disagreement with a simple “Anne, please.” He acts as a peacemaker between his wife and their youngest daughter.