What is the main theme of The Diary of Anne Frank?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would be sad to think that Anne Frank’s main legacy as a description of a life of oppression.  I think that the main theme is the tenacity of the human soul to continue to grow and even thrive in the worst of circumstances.  Anne Frank is essentially a coming of age story.  She grows from a child to a woman in that attic room.  Yes, the circumstances are unusual and add intensity to the situation.  However, the point is that she grows.  Even locked within an attic room, Anne can grow.  That is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.  The Nazi’s could take nearly everything away from her: her possessions, her family, and even her life; but they could not take away her spirit.  She is forced to learn at a young age that happiness and contentment are not based on material goods, or even on relationships, but within our own minds and souls.  She not only survives in the attic room but she creates a diary that speaks to the world in timeless truth. 

Further Reading:
brendawm eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Diary of a Young Girl is a classic coming of age story, maybe not in all the typical senses that we imagine teenagers coming of age, but she certainly goes through all the motions, even in her seclusion.  I agree with the prior answer in spite of the presence of all the oppression and war, Anne demonstrated unfailing optimism and childlike innocence in a situation in which most of us would have succumbed to utter depression and given up hope.  This was not true of Anne who maintained as positive an outlook as possible considering the circumstances.  Some other minor themes might be considered to include the loneliness of adolescence and the generosity and greed of people in wartime.  Check the link below for more detailed information on the themes.  Brenda

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the main theme is living in oppression.  The Nazis have taken away everything from the Frank family (and many like them).  "Jews could not attend schools with non-Jews, go to the movies, or ride on the streetcars." Anne is denied basic human rights and human dignity.  It affects her physically by living in a cramped environment.  It effects her emotionally by repressing her budding feelings for Peter.  And of course, it effects her life by ultimately taking it away. 

There are other themes in the work, but this one affects all areas of young Anne's existence. 

acurlygurl | Student

For me, the main theme for this book was to remain strong. Although Anne's life was threatened, and her morale was often low, she continued to be positive and live life as well as she could. She thought about all the Jews who where captured and most likely killed. Anne always kept the peace of mind that at that very moment, she was safe, she was hidden, and that she and her family were alive. Even though throughout the book she spoke of discontent, discomfort and her longing to be free again, she kept her hopes up that one day she would be outside, living her life just as she once had.

sgtparez | Student

I think the main theme from "Anne Frank's Diary" isAnne's will to keep on living as the modern girl who has her own ideals and tries to become the girl which she preferably desires as woman and wants to not be treated as a kid during her adolencent life although the risk of her capture was close at hand during the Nazi occupation of Holland(Amsterdam) and the help given to her by Meip and Mr.Kraler as well as the other people who decided to help.

     -Quoted by Chris Parez May 18,2009

If this is not enough then ill try to find more imformation through the Broadway plays and the Book.

Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

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