In Anne Frank: The Diary fo a Young Girl, why is Anne Frank viewed as a hero?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a good question to ask, because, in one sense, there is nothing that Anne Frank does that makes her heroic. She does not, for example, plan a resistance movement or risk her life trying to carry out plans to bring down the Nazi regime. She just simply tries to live her life and tries to do this for as long as possible. Yet what has made her a hero in the eyes of so many is precisely her determination to live under such terrible conditions and face such daily fears of discovery and the uncertain future that awaits her. Consider this following quote, which was written less than a month before the discovery of the secret annexe:

It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.

What makes Anne Frank a hero in the eyes of so many people is that in spite of the massive pressures and danger surrounding her that she is able to write sentences like these that express a sense of optimism in the future and in humanity at large inspite of the massive evil that characterised the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. To cling on to such ideals in the face of incontrovertible evidence that humanity is actually evil is something that is truly heroic.

ladybugenotes | Student

Thanks for answering. I'm writing an essay on why she considered a hero and what qualities of heroism her writing shows, and that's precisely what I'm struggling with - she didn't really do anything.

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The Diary of a Young Girl

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