The Diary of a Young Girl Cover Image

The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

Start Free Trial

In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, describe the differences between Anne and her mother. Who do you sympathize with more?

Quick answer:

In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, describe the various differences between Anne and her mother. With whom do you sympathize more—Anne or her mother? Anne and her mother have many differences that cause their relationship to be strained. However, Margot is just as much to blame as Anne's mother. Although Margot has been through similar circumstances as Anne, she has always had easier time with their mother than Anne has. This makes it difficult for them to have any sort of relationship, leaving only her father with whom she can share her true feelings in complete confidence.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Diary of Anne Frank , Anne reveals that her relationship with her mother is always strained and they have never been able to satisfactorily resolve their differences as Anne sees them. She recognizes the relationship her sister Margot has with their mother which also prevents Anne from forming...

This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

a meaningful relationship with Margot and the only person Anne truly feels comfortable with is her father. 

In Anne's very first entry to her diary dated 12 June 1942, Anne relishes the chance to use her diary as a "great source of comfort and support" because she has never been able to enjoy that with her mother. Although it is not explicitly stated, it will become obvious as the diary unfolds. Shortly after going to stay in the Annex, Anne fells that she is disconnected from her mother and sister and on July 12 1942 she expresses her resentment that she is treated differently from her very clever sister to the point of saying that she doesn't "fit in with them." Anne's mother would never be sarcastic with Margot but is always "carping' at Anne.  

Anne is different from her mother who takes "the opposite view of everything" ( August 12 1942) but Anne does admit early on in her diary that they both talk a lot, something Anne feels she cannot change. However, Anne expresses her developing differences with her mother as she reveals how she is basically "a stranger" (27 September 1942) to her mother who does not "even know what I think about the most ordinary things," to the point of being "alien to me." Anne's mother does not make allowances for Anne and this just broadens the gap between them. She is always anxious although the whole family do their best under the difficult circumstances. However, Anne feels that she always suffers from her mother's "carelessness, her sarcasm and her hard-heartedness" (Saturday November 7 1942). As her mother is "the opposite" this means that Anne has "to mother myself." Her mother's inconsistencies confuse Anne and even cause her to question her own good nature. Anne tries to convince herself that she is "not a bad person" as revealed in her diary entry of 30 January 1943.

Anne does not openly criticize others whereas her mother always criticizes Anne and is hostile to some of the other residents of the Annex, even referring to Mr van Daan's "stupid chatter" (Friday February 5 1943). On April 2 1943, Anne tries to be honest with her mother but her mother does not recognize that her own callousness has led to Anne's rejection of her. Her attempts to be nice have come too late and will be short-lived.  

On Friday December 24 1943, as Anne continues to open her heart to her diary, she talks of her longing for a good relationship with "a mother who understands me." Anne does not call her mother "mom" because hers is "an imperfect mom" so she calls her "Momsy" or moms." The main difference between Anne and her mother is revealed here as Anne wishes she had "the kind of mom who doesn't take everything people say too seriously, but who does take me seriously."  However, by January 2 1944, Anne has begun to see her won contribution to her mother's behavior and vows to try harder. 

Of course, both Anne and her mother deserve sympathy as their difficult circumstances are inconceivable to most people. Anne's mother was doing her best but a child learns to respond to a parent so she should have been more loving with Anne who then would have had a different perspective. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial