Summary and Analysis The Second Year


Anne's fourteenth birthday is celebrated with little gifts from the members of her "family in hiding," as she calls them, and she also receives a poem from her father. This was a German tradition, and as Anne's family had originally come from Germany, moving to Holland only after the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany, Anne's father wrote the poem in German. Margot, Anne's sister, translated it "brilliantly" into Dutch, and the English translator has also done a good job.

The Nazis have begun to move quickly; new regulations have been imposed. All civilians are ordered to hand in their radio sets (listening to stations other than those of the Nazis had been forbidden since the beginning of the war, but the Dutch people, nevertheless, listened to the BBC secretly, drawing encouragement from it), and the little group in the "Secret Annexe" is reluctantly obliged to forfeit the large set which was in the office downstairs. One of their "protectors," however, promises to provide them with another, substitute radio, and Anne concludes this entry by saying, "It is really true that as the news from the outside gets worse, so the radio with its miraculous voice helps us to keep up our morale and to say again, 'Chins up, stick it out, better times will come!'" (June 15, 1943).

Almost a month passes without an entry in Anne's diary, and then we read that Anne has decided to control her public remarks about the people whom she must be confined with, even if this involves shamming (or fraudulent behavior) ". . . so that the rain of rebukes dies down to a light summer drizzle" (July 11, 1943). Thus, the routine life of the group goes on, and Anne and Margot are even allowed to help a little with the work of the office downstairs, making them feel quite important. Anne mentions again how very important books are to her, as she is shut up in the "Secret Annexe" and has no other amusements.

She then describes — in a very detailed entry — how she approached her roommate, Mr. Düssel, very politely, after having first discussed the matter with her father. She asks Mr. Düssel if she may use the work table in their room for an extra hour-and-a-half twice a week. She explains that there is too much going on in the common room, and that although she is able to work on the table every day from half-past two until four, while Düssel sleeps, she needs more time to work. She is very disappointed and angry when Düssel absolutely refuses her request without giving any explanation. Yet, Anne keeps her temper and asks him to reconsider. She then recounts Düssel's selfish, melodramatic, and false tirade against her, again describing her own self-restraint and the immense mental effort that this discipline represents for her. Eventually, at her request, her father intervenes on Anne's behalf, and Düssel gives in. Anne concludes: "Düssel . . . didn't speak to me for two days and still had to go and sit at the table from five till half-past — frightfully childish. A person of fifty-four who is still pedantic and small-minded must be so by nature, and will never improve" (July 13, 1943).

Various events occur to alarm the group in the "Secret Annexe." The offices downstairs are burglarized, although this is noticed only after it has occurred sometime during the night (July 16, 1943). The air raids continue by day as well as by night so that there is a constant fear of both fire and discovery. The news that Mussolini has resigned provides some encouragement, but the emotional and physical exhaustion resulting from the sleepless nights of the air raids continues (July 26, 1943).

In the following entry, Anne describes her efforts to find a neutral topic of conversation while she is doing the dishes with Mrs. Van Daan and Mr. Düssel, and how this tactic not only fails but backfires because of a critical comment that Anne makes of a book which Düssel has recommended. This sets off Düssel and Mrs. Van Daan on a long tirade about how badly brought-up Anne is and how her ideas and opinions are all wrong. Anne comments perceptively: "I suppose it's their idea of a good upbringing to always try to set me against my parents, because that is what they often do" (July 29, 1943). Anne then allows herself to note all of her criticisms of Mrs. Van Daan, describing her as "very pushing, selfish, cunning, and calculating," but adds in a postscript: "Will the reader take into consideration that when this story was written the writer had not cooled down from her fury!"

Anne begins to give a detailed account of the group's daily routine, starting on August 4, 1943, with an account of their evening and night-time routines, who sleeps where, who washes when and how Anne leaves hairs in the bathroom sink. She also describes the strange noises which the house and its "inmates" make during the night. There is also a graphic description of Anne using the potty in the middle of the night, waking up from a dream to the sound of an air raid and scampering into her father's bed in fear. This last episode is illustrated by a verse from the poem which Margot wrote for Anne's birthday. Anne continues her account the following day with a description of lunchtime. Her review of the evening meal becomes an analysis of the characters of the people sitting around the table, their eating habits, their ways of talking, and their general traits. On the whole, these are not very complimentary.

In the passage for August 18, 1943, Anne manages to give a vivid and entertaining account of a rather mundane task, potato peeling. She has a keen eye, and she carefully observes the little nuances of speech and the physical gestures which characterize the various members of the group. There is also a touching description of what Anne calls "a little bit of real family life" (August 23, 1943).

The members of the group are up before half-past eight, when the workers begin their duties in the warehouse, and even though the office staff has not yet arrived, so that it is necessary for the group to be particularly quiet, Anne and Margot and their parents sit, read, or work in their room until it is time for breakfast, at nine o'clock.

The news about Italy's capitulation raises everyone's spirits (September 10, 1943), but this is offset by the illness of one of their "protectors," Mr. Koophuis. Another cause for concern is the fact that one of the workers in the warehouse appears to suspect something, and thus the already strained nerves of the members of the group lead them to virtually refrain from speaking to one another because "whatever is said you either annoy someone or it is misunderstood." Anne takes sedatives to calm her nerves (and so presumably do the others), but she notes that "it doesn't prevent me from being even more miserable the next day. A good hearty laugh would help more than ten Valerian pills, but we've almost forgotten how to laugh" (September 16, 1943). This remark, "but we've almost forgotten how to laugh," is but one of the many of Anne's comments that suggests that here is a person of a sensitivity, an intelligence, and a maturity far beyond her chronological years.

Mrs. Van Daan's birthday is celebrated, and the members of the group, as well as the "protectors," give her presents of things to eat, as well as some food coupons. Anne remarks: "Such are the times we live in!" (September 29, 1943). The strained relations between the members of the group continue, and Anne's words, "Oh, what kind of explosion is hanging over us now? If only I wasn't mixed up so much with all these rows! If I could only get away! They'll drive us crazy before long!" (September 29, 1943), are desperate cries from her heart.

One day, Mrs. Van Daan is obliged to sell her fur coat to raise money for food, and this leads to additional quarrels. Anne remarks, ironically: ". . . and now the reconciliation period of 'Oh, darling Putti' and 'precious Kerli' has set in." Then she adds: "I am dazed by all the abusive exchanges that have taken place in this virtuous house during the past month. . . . Quite honestly, I sometimes forget who we are quarreling with and with whom we've made it up. The only way to take one's mind off it all is to study, and I do a lot of that" (October 17, 1943).

Sundays — when there is no one working in the office, and when there is no relief from the tedium of the group — are particularly depressing days for Anne. She describes them with a telling phrase: "The atmosphere is so oppressive, and sleepy and as heavy as lead" (October 29, 1943). We can feel her painful desperation at being "jailed" for over a year when she writes: "I wander from one room to another, downstairs and up again, feeling like a songbird whose wings have been clipped and who is hurling himself in utter darkness against the bars of his cage" (October 29, 1943).

With an admirable sense of self-awareness, Anne writes, "If you were to read my pile of letters one after another, you would certainly be struck by the many different moods in which they are written. It annoys me that I am so dependent on the atmosphere here, but I'm certainly not the only one — we all find it the same" (November 8, 1943). She also gives us a very vivid account of her fears and nightmares, remarking that although she talks about the concept of "after the war," ". . . it is only a castle in the air, something that will never really happen." In this, she is being prophetic without even realizing it. Anne's diary entries now begin to show an increasing sense of sadness, desperation, and, occasionally, the loss of hope, although there is an entertaining interlude entitled "Ode to my Fountain Pen: In Memoriam," in which Anne recounts how she received her fountain pen as a gift from her grandmother when she was nine and how it was accidentally burned in the stove that day (November 11, 1943).

One night, Anne dreams about her best school friend, Lies, and she is shot through with guilt at living in comfort and being unable to help Lies in any way. In her dream, Anne sees Lies "clothed in rags, her face thin and worn. Her eyes were very big" (November 27, 1943). This is an accurate description of the appearance of most of the concentration camp inmates, although Anne did not know — and could not have known — Lies' condition (sadly, ironically, Lies really was in a concentration camp).

The Dutch Festival of Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated with little poems that Anne and her father have written for everybody, and Christmas is marked by the exchange of small gifts. Anne has re-covered from a bad bout of flu and comments that they "are all getting on well together for a change! There's no quarrelling — we haven't had such peace in the home for at least half a year" (December 22, 1943).

Anne's account of her feelings is extremely, almost achingly, honest in the entry for December 24, 1943, when she writes at length about her longing to go outside, to walk about freely, to do the things that young people all over the world do and, above all, to simply "have fun." This futile wish leads her once again to the sad topic of what she considers to be the inadequacies of her mother, and Anne vows to behave differently when she has children of her own. Anne seems to have expected too much of her mother, who would probably have functioned well enough in normal circumstances, but here — in this horrible situation — Mrs. Frank appears to be almost unable to under-stand her mercurial daughter, a girl of high intelligence and sensitivity. Remember that these are exceptional and dangerous conditions in which the Franks are trying to survive, and Mrs. Frank is just an ordinary, middle-class person with, perhaps, a limited imagination.

Anne mentions the fact that the mere act of writing her thoughts down in her diary has improved her mood a little. She also refers to her father's phrase "the love of his youth" (December 25, 1943), realizing that her father had confided in her concerning this person the previous year, but then she had not been able to understand "the meaning of his words" because he had to "express his own feelings for once" rather than coping with those of others. Anne adds that her father "has become very tolerant. I hope that I shall grow a bit like him, without having to go through all that [suffering]." This entry reveals Anne's sensitive awareness of her own faults and her desire to improve herself, as well as showing us Anne's acute consciousness of the feelings of others.

Anne's moods continue to swing back and forth between grief, compassion, and guilt. She grieves for the past and for loved ones who are gone, and there is also Anne's ever-growing compassion for those Jews whose suffering is greater than hers; in particular, she thinks about her girl friend Lies (December 29, 1943). She also feels guilty for having negative feelings about her mother (January 2, 1944). Anne seems to be becoming more aware of what it is that she believes that her mother lacks (January 5, 1944) — namely, a certain sensitivity to the feelings of her lively, moody adolescent daughter, and although this does not really ease Anne's pain at being misunderstood, it does help her to cope with it.

Anne's longing for a girl friend (January 5, 1944) is partly fulfilled when, on January 6, 1944, Anne decides to go up to Peter Van Daan's room and talk to him. Peter is a rather shy boy, two years older than Anne, and it seems that he is not averse to having Anne come and talk to him. Anne, however, is torn between her need for someone to confide in and her fear of seeming to be "too forward," but she concludes, "Don't think I'm in love with Peter — not a bit of it! If the Van Daans had had a daughter instead of a son, I should have tried to make friends with her too."

That night, Anne dreams about a former boyfriend, also called Peter, dreaming about him in a rather romantic way, and she feels certain, upon waking, that "Peter was still the chosen one." This leads her, in her next diary entry, on January 7, 1944, to relate the history of all her boyfriends at the various stages of her life. We realize here that her relationship with Peter Van Daan compensates for many of the difficulties of her daily life, for Anne writes, "What do I care about the lot of them! Peter belongs to me and no one knows anything about it. This way I can get over all the snubs I receive. Who would ever think that so much can go on in the soul of a young girl?" (January 12, 1944).

After writing rather antagonistically about the faults of the Van Daans, Anne comes to realize that the faults which she sees in them might not necessarily be theirs alone. It is a very perceptive and mature Anne who writes, "Until now I was immovable! I always thought the Van Daans were in the wrong, but we too are partly to blame. We have certainly been right over the subject matter; but handling of others from intelligent people (which we consider ourselves to be!) one expects more insight. I hope that I have acquired a bit of insight and will use it well when the occasion arises" (January 22, 1944).

Another milestone of maturity is passed when Anne manages to have a conversation with Peter about sex, when he shows her his cat's male organs. Anne feels strange, but she admires Peter for being able to talk about it in a matter-of-fact way. Other than that, the normal daily routines of the little group continue. Anne is still involved in her studies, but she also occupies herself with compiling the family trees of the royal families of Holland and England, as well as collecting pictures of the various movie stars of the time. The adults continue to annoy her by repeatedly telling the same anecdotes, and, in a telling phrase, she marvels at the fact that "we are quite as used to the idea of going into hiding, or 'underground,' as in bygone days one was used to Daddy's bedroom slippers warming in front of the fire" (January 28, 1944). Their "protectors" continue to help and encourage them, even though this involves danger for them, and Anne regards this as being on a par with all other acts of heroism performed during the war, vowing never to forget them.

The probability of an invasion of Europe by the Allies (the forces fighting against the Nazis) increases, and all sorts of rumors and speculations are talked about and considered. The group in the "Secret Annexe" is aware of all this through their "protectors," as well as through listening to the BBC. Anne gives examples of the kinds of conversations conducted by the members of the group, concluding rather fatalistically, "I myself keep very quiet and don't take any notice of all the fuss and excitement. I have now reached the stage that I don't care much whether I live or die. The world will still keep on turning without me; what is going to happen, will happen, and anyway it's no good to resist. I trust to luck and do nothing but work, hoping that all will end well" (February 3, 1944).

Anne's growing relationship with Peter continues to excite and console her, even though she remains terribly frustrated by having to remain inside — especially now, when spring is beginning, filling her with longings "to talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone!" (February 12, 1944). Peter confides in her about his frustration at being unable to express himself clearly, as he claims she does, and even though she feels that this is not justified, and that she is equally tongue-tied or unnecessarily verbose, she feels glad "because I sensed a real feeling of fellowship, such as I can only remember having had with my girlfriends" (February 14, 1944). On another occasion, Peter helps Anne find the smallest and sweetest potatoes, and Anne feels that he is looking at her with "such a gentle warm look which made a tender glow within me. I could really see that he wanted to please me, and because he couldn't make a long complimentary speech he spoke with his eyes" (February 16, 1944).

Although Anne now feels much happier and is always hoping to see "him" when she goes upstairs, she still experiences sudden moods of unhappiness, when the tears simply roll down her cheeks, and she feels uncertain of Peter's affection for her (February 19, 1944). Anne does find some solace, though, in going up to the attic, where Peter works, and from where she can look up through the skylight at "the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and the other birds as they glide on the wind" (February 23, 1944). From that room, Anne can also look out over Amsterdam, gaze at the roofs, and at the horizon, and in her misery, she finds that this communion with nature, and with the things that seem more permanent than man, bring peace to her soul.

As her concern with Peter increases steadily, so that she "hardly does anything else but think of Peter" (February 27, 1944), Anne realizes that there are a great many similarities between them. Both of them, she feels, have mothers who are inadequate, and both she and Peter wrestle continually with their inner emotions. She notes, however, that whereas her reaction is to be noisy and boisterous, Peter is more likely to sink into silence. In a sad mood, Anne ends this entry for February 28, 1944, with the plaintive cry, "I'm sentimental — I know. I'm desperate and silly — I know that too. Oh, help me!"

A burglary in the office downstairs alarms the members of the little group again, although fear does not seem to play such a large part in their lives as it did at the beginning of their period of hiding. Anne, in particular, appears to be less fearful about things than she was before, possibly because she has developed a more fatalistic attitude, as her entry for February 3, 1944, shows. Still, though, she continues to resent the fact that grownups treat her, Margot, and Peter as "children" and prevent them from expressing their opinions about such subjects as overcoming depression and feelings of discouragement, which they feel as well-equipped as the adults to discuss.

Anne finally admits to herself that her feelings for Peter are "pretty near to being in love with him" (March 3, 1944), and each entry in her diary records another topic of conversation discussed or another meeting between them. Anne realizes that Peter is very shy, and she does not want to appear too eager herself, so both of them seem to be hovering on the brink of declaring their love. She writes, "Who will be the first to discover and break through this armor?" And she then adds, "I'm glad after all that the Van Daans have a son and not a daughter; my conquest could never have been so difficult, so beautiful, so good, if I had not happened to hit on someone of the opposite sex" (March 6, 1944).

In one of her more introspective moods, Anne looks back to the girl she was and to the life which she led before she went into hiding, noting that ". . . it all seems so unreal. It was quite a different Anne who enjoyed that heavenly existence from the Anne who has grown wise within these walls" (March 7, 1944). While recognizing that her life beforehand had been enjoyable, she admits that she was certainly more superficial then, and that she will never again be able to live like that, at least not for long stretches of time. She maintains that even then she felt a certain emptiness, but disguised it with a constant flurry of activities and friends. She also analyzes the various phases which she has gone through after going into hiding. She speaks of her initial confusion, followed by depression and then, as she began to mature, both physically and emotionally, she describes her growing self-awareness, and finally, her discovery of her inward happiness through her close relationship with Peter Van Daan.

The daily problems of obtaining and preparing food, getting along with the various members of the group, contacts with the outside world and news of the progress of the war still occupy Anne's thoughts to a considerable extent. But some things have changed. Anne's feelings about Peter, for example, cause her to be very reserved with her family, and she says, ". . . the brightest spot of all is that at least I can write down my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I would be absolutely stifled!" (March 16, 1944).

As we read, we realize that Anne continues to resent being cooped up with the other members of the group and that she still objects to being treated as a child, for she says, "Although I'm only fourteen, I know quite well what I want, I know who is right and who is wrong, I have my opinions, my own ideas and principles, and although it may sound pretty mad from an adolescent, I feel more of a person than a child, I feel quite independent of anyone" (March 17, 1944).

More and more, Peter and Anne confide in one another, and Anne records their conversations in her diary. As they open their hearts to one another, talking about their initial impressions of one another when the group first went into hiding, they realize that they have even more in common than they had ever imagined. Anne, however, is sad at the thought that Margot is made wretched by Anne's relationship with Peter, since Margot also likes him, but Margot assures Anne, in a letter, that it is not that she herself loves Peter, but, rather, that she regrets not having found anyone for herself yet. This sets off a touching exchange of letters between Margot and Anne, in which each one shows her concern for the other's feelings. It was obviously easier for them both to set their emotions down on paper than to talk about them face-to-face.

Both Anne and Peter have to take a fair amount of teasing from the adults about the fact that Anne goes up to Peter's room in the evenings, and Anne remarks that "we don't take much notice of all this parental chatter, their remarks are so feeble. Have the two sets of parents forgotten their own youth? It seems like it, at least they seem to take us seriously, if we make a joke, and laugh at us when we are serious" (March 23, 1944). In this, she is probably speaking for a great many teenagers who have often felt misunderstood and mistreated by their parents.

Although Anne states quite clearly that politics do not interest her, she nevertheless describes the reactions of the various members of the group to the news which they hear over the radio or from their "protectors." For example, she depicts one scene as they all sit around the radio, listening to a speech given by Winston Churchill; yet, following the speech, the heated arguments that ensue horrify and anger her (March 27, 1944).

Anne continues to be more preoccupied with Peter and with the growing closeness between them. She also continues to resent her mother's interference, although she admires her father's restraint at his daughter's obvious interest in Peter.

One day, one of the BBC broadcasts contains a suggestion by one of the Dutch leaders in exile that after the war the diaries and letters of people who have been through the war should be published. This causes quite a stir among the members of the group in hiding, and Anne starts to entertain serious thoughts of publishing her diary at a later stage, remarking that "it would seem quite funny ten years after the war if we Jews were to tell how we lived and what we ate and talked about here" (March 29, 1944). This sentence is strangely prophetic, as Anne's diary is, indeed, one of the most vivid documents — and perhaps the best-known-that has survived from that period, giving us a painfully honest, human "inside view" of what it was like to be Jewish and to be hiding in perpetual fear during the war years.

Time and time again, Anne wrestles with depression, struggling to hold back tears when she is with Peter, bravely endeavoring not to sob out loud when she is alone. She tries to reason with herself, and eventually she succeeds, writing, "It was over!" (April 4, 1944). On the same occasion, she gives us a far more hopeful and more positive account of what she wants her future to be, so that the gloomy entry which began "For a long time I haven't had any idea of what I was working for any more; the end of the war is so terribly far away, so unreal, like a fairy tale" becomes more optimistic: "I must work, so as not to be a fool, to get on, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know that I can write."

This same entry reveals Anne becoming a more mature young woman, one who is able to appraise herself and her surroundings clearly and also critically. She knows that she is the best judge of her own work, and she also realizes that she wants more from life than being just a homemaker, as her mother is, and as the women of her class generally were. Here, too, Anne exhibits an awareness of the position of women, an attitude which is far ahead of her time and her immediate environment.

Anne also expresses her desire to-go on living after her death, and she thanks God for her ability to write, declaring that it is writing that consoles and encourages her. How ironic it is to read Anne's heart-searching entries and her assertions about the future when we know, as she could not, that these hopes of hers were indeed fulfilled, but not in the way she expected, and that the very words which she was writing at that moment were to bring her far greater immortality than she could ever have imagined.

Another attempt by burglars to break into the warehouse downstairs forces the members of the group to cower almost motionless for hours, afraid that they have finally been discovered. Anne gives us a graphic description of their whispered conversation and the various sights, sounds, and smells of these long hours. The incident causes Anne to wonder at their fates as Jews; again, she states her belief that the suffering which they are undergoing is so that they may emerge stronger. She also affirms her love for the Dutch nation, its people and its language, asserting that she intends to remain in Holland after the war (April 11, 1944).

Anne is, figuratively, "up in the clouds" when Peter kisses her for the first time (April 16, 1944), although her doubts regarding the propriety of this, and the probable reactions of her parents and sister if they had known about it strike us as rather odd in this age of permissiveness. Although Peter and Anne would put their arms around one another, and, later on, occasionally kiss, their physical relationship was very innocent, a far different situation from the behavior of many teenagers today. In the space of only a few years, and with the help of medical advances in methods of birth control, sexual morality has changed tremendously. Once again, Anne displays astonishing maturity for a girl of fourteen by refusing to accept completely the extremely strict moral standards of her time, writing, ". . . we are shut up here, shut away from the world, in fear and anxiety, especially just lately. Why, then, should we who love each other remain apart? Why should we wait until we've reached a suitable age? Why should we bother?" (April 17, 1944).

Anne's happiness with Peter is not overshadowed by the daily trials of life in the "Secret Annexe." But perhaps Anne's awareness of what maturity means has been heightened, for it is a very perceptive, if disenchanted, Anne who writes that the ordinary man in the street is as much to blame for the war as are the politicians, and that there is a destructive urge in everyone, so that unless this changes, bloodshed will always continue. Nevertheless, her irrepressible optimism causes her to write: "I am young and I possess many buried qualities; I am young and strong and am living a great adventure; I am still in the midst of it and can't grumble the whole day long. I have been given a lot, a happy nature, a great deal of cheerfulness and strength. Every day I feel that I am developing inwardly, that the liberation is drawing nearer and how beautiful nature is, how good the people are about me, how interesting this adventure is! Why, then, should I be in despair?" (May 3, 1944).

Following the advice that Margot has given her, Anne writes a letter to her father, explaining her feelings about him and her mother, the difficulties she has been through during the period they have been in hiding and speaking honestly of her refusal to knuckle under to what she knows has been his silent disapproval of her relationship with Peter (May 5, 1944). Anne's father has a long and emotional talk with her after this letter, and Anne regrets having wounded his feelings, acknowledging that she might have misjudged him.

Various setbacks — such as the arrest of the man who brought them vegetables, rumors that there is growing anti-Semitism among the Dutch people, and Anne's fears that, having been born in Germany, she and her family will not be able to remain in Holland once the war is over — cause Anne's spirits to fall. She wonders if they might not all be better off dead, but still she clings to her hope that something will happen, and that the war will end soon (May 26, 1944). The news of the Allied invasion of Europe revives the optimism of the group, and Anne's fifteenth birthday is celebrated in a spirit of greater cheerfulness (June 13, 1944).

The last few entries in Anne's diary are concerned with the various daily events that Anne has written about all along — the moods of the members of the group, their preoccupation with food, the books they read and discuss, Anne's relations with her parents, and her feelings toward Peter.

Anne's last entry, on August 1, 1944, three days before the "Secret Annexe" is raided by the police and its occupants are sent to concentration camps, is one in which Anne analyzes herself and her situation, displaying considerable powers of perception. She concludes, after acknowledging that her flippant behavior is just a front to help her cope with the people around her, with the statement that she keeps on "trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and what I could be, if . . . there weren't any other people living in the world."

At the end of the period of hiding, Anne is clearly a very different person from the girl who started out to write in the red-checkered diary; especially during the second year, she has matured greatly. Of course, there has been the growing love between her and Peter, and this has certainly left its mark. But in addition to the self-confidence she has acquired, Anne is less quick to judge the other people around her; she has a greater self-awareness now, and she has thought deeply about a great many subjects.

Anne has not wasted her time while she has been in hiding. Under her father's guidance, she has continued studying various subjects, skills, and languages. She has developed her writing, especially, so that the style in her diary has become more varied and vivid. In fact, her diary contains descriptive passages, conversations, character analyses, and honest introspection that we would not expect from such a young girl; this is one of the reasons why it has managed to capture the interest of so many people over such a long period of time; very simply, it is well-written. Anne's ability to analyze people and situations has grown as we watch, so to speak, so that we do not feel that we are reading the maudlin confessions of a "mixed-up" teenager; rather, we are eager to find out what this intelligent young woman has to say about the varied subjects which she chooses to write about. Being forced to remain in hiding for two years is obviously too high a price to pay for precocious maturity, but how much poorer our world would have been had we not been granted this glimpse into the inner workings of a young girl's mind in the years that were so fateful for her and for the whole world.

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