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The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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What nickname did Mrs. Van Daan give Peter that upset Anne?

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Mrs. van Daan becomes a difficult character to empathize with as Anne Frank's diary progresses. She is prone to mood swings and tends to be neurotic. Over and above this, at least according to Anne, she is full of complaints.

To add insult to injury, Mrs. van Daan picks on her son Peter, calling him "The Thinker" and accusing him of being far too philosophical. This incenses Anne, who has developed romantic feelings for Peter. She is greatly upset when she sees him being humiliated by his mother in this way. Peter is a pessimist to begin with, and being treated in this way does nothing to bolster his self-esteem.

One can understand where Anne is coming from, particularly in the context of life in a secret annex where there is often little to do apart from ponder one's circumstances.

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It's something of an understatement to say that Anne and Mrs. Van Daan don't get along very well. Mrs. Van Daan is an inveterate busybody, forever poking her nose in where it's not wanted. To make matters worse, it seems to Anne that Mrs. Van Daan is always on her case, telling her off and criticizing her all the time.

Mrs. Van Daan also criticizes her own son, Peter, which makes Anne even more upset. Anne's developed a crush on Peter, and won't hear a bad word said against him, especially not from someone she doesn't like. Peter's similar to Anne in that he likes to think things through. One would think that that was a good thing. But Mrs. Van Daan doesn't. On the contrary, she teases Peter over his deep pondering, calling him "The Thinker." This makes Peter blush with embarrassment, and Anne is absolutely furious at Mrs. Van Daan for humiliating her son like this.

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