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Free Study Guide-The Diary of Anne Frank-Free Online Book Notes Summary
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SHORT SUMMARY OF THE DIARY (Synopsis)

The Diary of Anne Frank, written over a two-year period, tells about her life while she and her family are in hiding in Holland. They are staying in a secret attic of the office building where Mr. Frank used to work in order to escape from the Nazis during World War II. During their stay in the annex, they are supported by several people in the office building, who risk their own lives to insure the secrecy of the Jewish hideout and to provide them with food and basic supplies.


Much of Anne's diary tells about the daily routine of the occupants of the attic. It also describes in detail the characters of Anne's father, mother, and sister, as well as the characters of the three Van Daans and Mr. Dussel, who share the attic with them. Anne's difficult situation is made more complicated by her own adolescence. Her maturing process, coupled with the misery of her cramped quarters and her constant fear of discovery and capture, is clearly seen in the pages of the diary. She tells of the conflicts she has with her mother and sister, the support she receives from her father, the love that develops between her and Peter Van Daan, the constant bickering of the inhabitants of the attic, and the deprivations that she must endure while in hiding. She also gives a detailed accounting of what is occurring in the war, especially in Holland, and reflects upon her past life.

The straightforward and simple diary is filled with conflicting emotions, ranging from depression and despair to cheerfulness and pleasure. Anne constantly tries to see the good side of things and to have hope in spite of the misery and fear she faces on a daily basis. She even tells of some humorous incidents that occur within the annex. When the air raids and bombings come closer to the office building, however, it is harder for her to be positive, but she tries her best to rally her courage and find a zest for living. When she falls in love with Peter, she does, indeed, gain a new lease on life and a strong desire to survive. Unfortunately, her diary is left unfinished, for she, her family, and the other occupants of the annex are discovered by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp.

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