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In Goodrich and Hackett's drama The Diary of Anne Frank, there are many conflicts.
There are several forms of external conflict, which include:
- man vs. man
- man vs. society
- man vs. God (or the supernatural)
- man vs. nature
In Act One, the audience learns of the things the Jews are forced to do by the Nazis at the beginning of the occupation. Anne reports this example of external conflict, specifically man vs. society:
They forced Father out of his business. We had to wear yellow stars. I had to turn in my bike. I couldn't go to a Dutch school any more. I couldn't go to the movies, or ride in an automobile, or even a streetcar, and a million other things.
One example of internal conflict occurs when Anne meets Peter. He seems difficult to get along with, but Anne is not put off. After they have talked a while, Peter begins to remove the star that has been sewn to his clothing. Anne proceeds to do the same thing. As she removes it, she sees that outline made by the star created by the fading of the cloth around it—noting that its shape is still there. Peter says he is going to burn his.
(She starts to throw hers in, and cannot)
It's funny, I can't throw mine away. I don't know why.
You can't throw...? Something they branded you with...? That they made you wear so they could spit on you?
Anne does not see the symbol as one of oppression, but recalls its special meaning to her as a Jew. Just as the outline is still clearly seen on her clothing, so too is the impact the star's true meaning has on her life—something she cannot just dismiss.
I know. I know. But after all, it is the Star of David, isn't it?
This demonstrates an internal conflict within Anne. While she does not want to wear the star because of what it signifies with regard to the Nazis, she is conflicted because the star also represents the much-loved symbol of her Jewish heritage.
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