The Diary of a Young Girl Cover Image

The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

Start Free Trial

How does Anne describe her classmates' behaviors in The Diary of a Young Girl?

Quick answer:

Anne's description of her classmates' behaviors varies from one individual to another. Anne provides both complimentary information and a description of the flaws she sees in certain classmates. Her views are also influenced by her classmates' treatment of her. For instance, Eefje, who is “very helpful,” is “terrific” and “quite the lady.” Anne believes that many of her male classmates admire her, and she enjoys their admiration.

Expert Answers

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

Early in the diary, Anne tells Kitty that she will say a few things about the students in her classes. Anne describes the behaviors of her classmates by telling Kitty something about their habits or her view of their personalities. Her remarks pertain to how some students look or act. For instance, Betty Bloemendaal is “pretty quiet,” while another anonymous classmate “is a very nervous girl who’s always forgetting things.”

When describing J. R., Anne notes that she “could write a whole book about her,” apparently because Anne does not like her and believes her to be “a detestable, sneaky, stuck-up, two-faced gossip.” Anne also comments on the relative affluence of their families. For instance, Betty Bloemendaal appears to come from a family with less money than the other students, while Miss J. is “very rich.” Anne appears to be relaying information that she believes is relevant and also appears to provide a balance of both complimentary information and description of the flaws she sees in certain classmates. For instance, she writes,

Use Wagner is a nice girl with a cheerful disposition, but she's extremely finicky and can spend hours moaning and groaning about something. Ilse likes me a lot. She's very smart, but lazy.

Moreover, not surprisingly, her views of her classmates are influenced by their treatment of her. For instance, Eefje de Jong is “very helpful” to Anne, and Anne finds her terrific and “quite the lady.”

Anne is also, at the age of thirteen, very attuned to the boys in her class, which includes noticing their looks and how they appear to look at her. She believes that many of her male classmates admire her, and she basks in their admiration. She writes to Kitty,

As soon as a boy asks if he can bicycle home with me and we get to talking, nine times out of ten I can be sure he’ll become enamored on the spot and won’t let me out of his sight for a second.

Having a boyfriend appears to be a subject that is much discussed in Anne’s home, as well. Anne’s mother apparently often remarks on whether a boy is polite or appears suitable for her daughter. Anne writes,

Mother is always asking me who I'm going to marry when I grow up.

Like other students about to enter higher grade levels, her classmates worry about their academic futures, which is particularly noteworthy and painful, given that in just a few short months, many of them will have been deported and/or killed by the Nazis. Anne tells Kitty that her “entire class is quaking in its boots” with worry over which ones will be promoted to the next grade. Anne herself is “not so worried about” her girlfriends and herself.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial