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The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, the "honeymoon period" in which the two families get along well does not last very long. What are some of the ways in which they begin to show their differences?

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The Franks and the Van Daans do not get along mainly because they seem to value different things. Mrs. Van Daan hoards all the things her family brought into the annex with them and is unwilling to share. She is rather loud and obnoxious, grating on Anne's nerves with how she always complains about everyone else and flirts with Mr. Frank. Both Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan also feel Anne talks too much. Anne also finds the Van Daan's son Peter standoffish and dull.

It must be remembered, however, that being crammed into the Annex under the dire circumstances both families are facing probably did not create the most conducive relationships. There are moments when both the families get along—even moments where Anne is able to converse with Mrs. Van Daan easily and comfort her when the older woman becomes frightened of being discovered.

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The Franks go into hiding on 6 July and the Van Daans enter the Secret Annex on 13 July 1942. There are only two entries in Anne's diary in August, both of which do not mention any strife or quarreling among the tenants of the annex. However, in the entry dated 2 September 1942, Anne mentions the fact that the Van Daans have had a "terrific quarrel" (24). This entry signifies the end of the proverbial "honeymoon period." As far as personal differences are concerned, Anne first notes that her parents would never think of shouting at each other the way the Van Daans do. Then she mentions how picky Mrs. Van Daan is about her sheets and dinnerware. It becomes clear very quickly that Mrs. Van Daan is selfish and does not like sharing her things with the Franks. 

In addition to Mrs. Van Daan's personality surfacing for others to see, Mr. Van Daan becomes annoyed with Anne's chattering; Anne becomes annoyed with Peter's laziness; Mrs. Van Daan attempts to get on Margot's nerves about reading too-serious books; Mr. Van Daan shows that he is verbally abusive to his son, Peter; and Mrs. Van Daan also starts flirting with Mr. Frank. And with all of this going on, Anne and her mother become annoyed with each other--Anne because her mother treats her like a baby and Mrs. Frank because Anne is too boisterous and independent. Needless to say, these families are bound to run into each other once in awhile because of the cramped spaces they are confined to and because of all the different personalities under one roof. 

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