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

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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

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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. 

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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. 

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