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The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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What is Anne Frank's perception of herself in The Diary of a Young Girl?

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Anne Frank writes the diary as if to a friend named Kitty, so her comments about Kitty’s imagined reactions frequently reveal Anne’s opinions of herself. For example, as she understands that her life is of necessity rather uneventful, she expresses concern that she is only writing of banalities or telling Kitty just “chit chat.” She also reflects on her rapidly changing moods and is critical of what she sees as her many shortcomings.

Anne overall is very conscious of her own psychological isolation among the members of their small attic community. She is particularly sensitive to her mother’s critical attitudes, especially as these contrast to what Anne sees as favoritism toward her sister. She worries about the limited love she is able to feel for her mother on many occasions. At the same time, Anne feels somewhat guilty over these feelings.

Although Anne’s insights into her changing feelings of affection and attraction toward Peter are less developed, she is able to gain some distance from those emotions and understand the importance of their friendship. Overall, as Anne frequently evaluates her own emotional state and offers insights into the feelings of others, she reveals her growing level of independence. She can understand that she must play the leading role in creating her own happiness—at least to the extent that is possible in their highly challenging situation.

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