The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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What is the internal conflict in Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl?

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Anne FrankThe Diary of a Young Girl can be considered a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age story. Not only does Anne face the ups and downs of puberty and adolescence, but she also divulges her inner frustrations about growing up in her diary. Two major conflicts that Anne struggles with internally, as well as externally at times, are her relationships with her mother and with Peter. For the first part of the book, Anne reveals feeling trapped because she feels like an adult, but her mother treats her like a baby. Not only that, but she sometimes feels like the odd one out within her whole family, as shown in the following passage:

"I would have given Margot the book myself, and much more quickly, if Mummy and Daddy hadn't interfered. They took Margot's part at once, as though she were the victim of some great injustice. It's obvious that Mummy would stick up for Margot; she and Margot always do back each other up. I'm so used to that that I'm utterly indifferent to both Mummy's jawing and Margot's moods" (44).

With tensions so high, and Anne feeling outnumbered, she must write her feelings in her diary in an effort to comfort herself. Sometimes Anne does lash out to defend herself, but for the most part, she uses her diary to reveal her inner struggles with the members of her family.

In the second part of the book, Anne struggles with romantic feelings for Peter, but she cannot share those feelings with her family explicitly. In the entry entitled Monday, 6 March, 1944, Anne discusses her internal conflict about Peter as follows:

"I think a lot, but I don't say much. I am happy if I see him and if the sun shines when I'm with him. I was very excited yesterday; while I was washing my hair, I knew that he was sitting in the room next to ours. I couldn't do anything about it; the more quiet and serious I feel inside, the more noisy I become outwardly. Who will be the first to discover and break through this armor?" (167).

These internal struggles over her feelings about her mother and Peter are those that many teenage girls have. Anne strives to find a balance between what she can say and do in public as opposed to what she really wants inside. The close and non-private living quarters only add to the frustration. So, the best way to help herself is to write her private thoughts and feelings...

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hilfman | Student

Anne's internal conflict may stem from the act that she is a teenage girl in a situation that most teenage girls are not familiar with, hiding in a small confined space without the ability to outwardly express her growing pains, especially with her friends. Most teenagers feel that they don't have a "voice," Anne was in a unique position that her diary was her voice but even that was being denigrated by Mrs Va Daan and Mr. Dussel.