The Diary of a Young Girl Cover Image

The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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What are the subplots introduced in Act One of The Diary of Anne Frank?

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In Act One of "The Diary of Anne Frank," in addition to the plot development which tells the story of Anne Frank and her companions as they hide from the Nazis in German-occupied Holland, there are several subplots.

One subplot is the beginning of Anne's rite of passage into adulthood as she develops a friendship with Peter.

Another subplot is Anne's struggle between adjusting to a dangerous, adult world when there is still a child, alive and well and living inside of her, aching to get out and behave as she normally would.

A third subplot is found in Anne's special fondness for her father.  Although she loves her mother, it is her father she asks to stay and comfort her after she wakes screaming from a nightmare.

At the close of the first act, one more subplot is presented: all the people hiding are Jews. (Although the Germans also targeted other groups, it seems they did so without the same ferocity with which they pursued the Jews.) This subplot shows how those hiding in the "Secret Annex" turn to their faith not just for comfort and to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives, but also as a distraction. To celebrate Hanukkah, Anne has made everyone gifts, which touches each person at the table.  At the end of the scene, to quiet fears raised by the interruption of a thief downstairs, Anne sings the Hanukkah song to ease their anxiety and restore the spirits of those around her.

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