When did Anne Frank show courage throughout her diary?    

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Anne Frank hides along with her family and others in the secret annex during the Holocaust, she shows great courage. From the summer of 1942 until the end of the diary in August of 1944, she must stay inside the attic. She knows that leaving the attic will likely result in her death, as would her discovery by people other than the sympathetic people hiding the Jewish families in the attic. There are several burglaries in which the people in the attic fear discovery, and there are also air raids. During an air raid in July of 1943, Anne feels so frightened that she clutches an escape bag as her house shakes, but she knows she can't leave. She writes in her diary, "I know we can't leave here, but if we had to, being seen on the streets would be just as dangerous as getting caught in an air raid." She is trapped and scared, yet she is courageous enough to go on. These are all situations in which she shows courage.

While she endures these types of situations, her hope for the future never fades, and her enduring spirit is the quintessence of courage. She never allows the dismal situation around her to quench her love of life. She writes in 1944, when she is consumed with terror over being discovered and has already spent almost two years in hiding:

"I've asked myself again and again whether it wouldn't have been better if we hadn't gone into hiding, if we were dead now and didn't have to go through this misery, especially so that the others could be spared the burden. But we all shrink from this thought. We still love life, we haven't yet forgotten the voice of nature, and we keep hoping, hoping for. . . everything."

She still finds delight in life, in nature, and in her budding friendship with Peter, who is also hiding in the attic, to want to continue to live. Her continued hopes for the future and her continued belief in the possibilities of life show that she is truly courageous. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Anne shows courage in her diary by simply writing in it.  Given the intensity of the historical moment in which she writes, Anne's ability to be honest and to display a sense of openness in her thoughts within her diary is an act of courage in a time period where there was so little of it.  Given the fact that she and her family had to hide, hold their breaths each time they saw the outside world, and were forced to live in fear every waking moment, I think that being able to write so openly and with such transparency in her thoughts to "Kitty" represented courage.  Honesty and being direct were not praised and immediately validated during the Holocaust.  Those who fought for survival did so at the cost of openness and emotional directness.  Anne bucked this trend with her writing in the diary.  It is an act of courage that in the midst of extreme repression and the silencing of voice, Anne did not acquiesce.  She understood the value of resistance in the form of her diary and while no one in their right mind could expect her diary to have political implications at the time, its lasting value is one synonymous with courage and resistance for Anne dared to write and speak in a time where so many were relegated to silence.

Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

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