In Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, how does Anne use imagery to describe both the environment of her hiding place and the people in it?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One cannot read Anne Frank's work without realizing that the girl was born to write.  Her descriptions of people and places are full of personality and creative vocabulary.  As an elementary school student, she describes a classmate as "a detetestable, sneaky, stuck-up, two-faced gossip who thinks she's so grown-up" and mentions that she herself has "a throng of admirers who can't keep their adoring eyes off me."  When the family first goes into hiding, she decides that she will simply pretend that they are in a "strange boarding house" on vacation, and she observes that the Frank's hiding place is likely the nicest one in Amsterdam. 

As Ann gets older, in the hiding place, her descriptions become more mature and thoughtful.  She will later observe of herself:  "I was born happy, I love people, I have a trusting nature, and I'd like everyone else to be happy too.’’  And as the gravity of the situation becomes increasingly apparent to a maturing Anne, her comments become more serious, albeit still artistic; of the situation she and her family and their friends are facing in hiding from the Nazis, she says:

"I see the eight of us in the Annex as if we were a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing black clouds. . . . [They loom] before us like an impenetrable wall, trying to crush us, but not yet able to. I can only cry out and implore, “Oh ring, ring, open wide and let us out!”

She also reflects on her conflicts with her mother, and the Van Daans, wondering if they will ever be able to "see me as a teenager badly in need of some good, plain fun."


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The Diary of a Young Girl

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