The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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As explained in The Diary of a Young Girl, what was the role of "Kitty," or Anne's diary, during her period of hiding in the annexe?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Kitty, Anne's diary, plays the role of Anne's confidante while Anne is in hiding with her family in the secret annex. Anne's decision to refer to her diary as "Kitty" proves Anne's need for a friend; this need is so strong that Anne names her diary as if it were a real person, and she writes in this diary as openly and emotionally as if she were speaking to someone close to her heart.

Anne confesses all of her secrets to Kitty, Anne's only substitute for a trusted friend while in hiding, and because Kitty cannot respond, Anne cannot feel judged nor misunderstood. Anne experiences relief and satisfaction at her ability to express herself honestly on paper, similar to the relief and satisfaction someone might feel after a long and honest talk with an old friend.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Anne's diary, Kitty, serves as a voice and sounding board for Anne at a time when she was relegated to silence.

Anne's diary, Kitty, allowed her to have a voice.  In both the act of hiding and in her life, Anne lived a life of silence. Literally and symbolically, she was unable to speak. However, Kitty changes that by giving Anne a place where she could speak her mind.  Anne admits this in her opening entry:  "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support."  In this way, Kitty is a confidant to Anne.  

Anne believes that Kitty provides an opportunity for her to be heard.  Anne feels that Kitty can validate her experience:

Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me... Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing, and I have an even greater need to get all kinds of things off my chest.

Anne needs to "get all kinds of things off [her] chest" because she does not have a release.  Kitty's role is to provide this release.  Anne says that she was "prompted to keep a diary in the first place" because she lacks friends. In her role as a friend, Kitty is able to authenticate and validate Anne's voice.

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