How does Anne Frank criticize the attitude of the grown-ups in her diary?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne is constantly criticizing the grown-ups, which include her parents, the Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel.  She feels that they are too involved in her life, overly critical, and clueless.  Grown-ups have an opinion about everything, but never listen to hers.

Anne often feels that the grown-ups shouldn’t tell her what to do because they are acting immature themselves.  She comments on Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan’s quarrels, saying “I think it's odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily and so often and about such petty matters” (Monday, September 28,1942).  Being in such close quarters with another family and in such trying circumstances obviously weighs on the Van Daans, who often fight with each other or with Anne. 

Anne is particularly annoyed with the comments about the growing relationship she has with Peter.  

The grown-ups are such idiots! As if Peter, Margot, Bep and I didn't all have the same feelings. The only thing that helps is a mother's love, or that of a very, very close friend. But these two mothers don't understand the first thing about us! (Thursday, March 2, 1944) 

She feels like the grown-ups continually give her unneeded and unwanted advice, and make comments and jokes about the time she spends with Peter.  Peter tells her they are just jealous of what he and Anne have.  Their relationship is definitely under close scrutiny. 

In fact, everything about Anne is under close scrutiny.  

[After] years of being adored, it was hard for me to adjust to the harsh reality of grown-ups and rebukes. But Father and Mother are largely to blame for my having to put up with so much. At home they wanted me to enjoy life, which was fine, but here they shouldn't have encouraged me to agree with them and only shown me "their" side of all the quarrels and gossip. (Saturday, March 25, 1944) 

She feels like all of the adults think that they should be able to tell her what to do.  She battles constantly with her mother at first, but gradually that eases off as she gets older and they start to think of her as more grown-up.  She also faces criticism from Dussel, which annoys her because he doesn’t have any children.

Anne and Peter feel that the grown-ups should understand that the war affects them more, as "ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality." The adults have had their chance.  Anne and Peter are growing up in hiding, and they may not survive.

Anne blames the grown-ups of the world for causing the war in the first place.  She says that she feels that people are "really good at heart," but she also is irritated that she may not get to achieve all she wants (Saturday, July 15, 1944).

Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question