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Free Study Guide-The Diary of Anne Frank-Free Online Book Notes Summary
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On July 9, 1942, Anne and Margot are told to hurriedly stuff their things into their school satchels, for it is time for the family to go into hiding. Margot, Anne's older sister, has been summoned to work in a concentration camp. Although their departure date had been set for July 16, Otto Frank, out of fear for his daughter's safety, moves the date up by a week. As the Franks walk to their hiding place, carrying a few belongings in shopping bags, it will be the last time that they are out in the open air and free to walk about. It is appropriate that it is raining outside, a foreshadowing of the misery they will endure. For the next twenty-five months, before they are discovered and seized by the Nazis, they will live in fear, sharing the close quarters of the secret annex with another Jewish family, the Van Daans.

The diary entries from July 9 to November 12 deal with four main topics: 1) a discussion of the secret annex and its occupants; 2) their connection with the outside world, including their source of supplies; 3) Anne's concern about the concentration camps and gas chambers; and 4) the turmoil of being an adolescent, made more difficult by the trying circumstances under which she lives.

In the entry on July 9, Anne draws a sketch of the annex and tells how the secret hiding place in the office building is covered up by a cupboard. There are only a few rooms, and the quarters are cramped. Anne notes that her mother and sister feel too terrible to work, but Anne tries to remain cheerful as she and her father unpack and arrange things. It seems that she does not really understand the danger that she and her family are under. At first, it seems almost like a vacation to Anne, as if they were staying in some boarding house.

Two days later, in the entry dated July 11, Anne is beginning to struggle with her new life and to acknowledge her fears. She tells how the family has forbidden Margot to cough at night, for fear of discovery. She also writes, "I can't tell you how oppressive it is never to be able to go outdoors; also I'm very afraid that we shall be discovered and be shot." She also talks about her Dutch protectors, the men who work downstairs in the office building.

After the July 11th entry, Anne does not write in the diary for more than a month. By the time she continues to make her entries, the Van Daans have arrived to stay in the secret annex, bringing news of the outside world. Anne states that Peter, their awkward, quiet, and shy son, will not be good company for her, even though he is only two years older than she. Ironically, they later develop and a close and loving friendship. Anne also points out that Mrs. Van Daan is a difficult and picky woman. She complains that the group is using the dishes belonging to the Franks rather than the ones belonging to her. She also fusses at Anne for talking too much and does not help much with the cleaning.

Although living in a small, damp, dark dwelling is boring and miserable, Anne accepts that it is necessary. She knows that she cannot fret or worry about the living conditions; the only thing that is important is survival . Life grows more tense, however, with the presence of the new arrivals. Anne hates that she must witness a terrible quarrel over a trivial thing between Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and the affect it has on Peter. She also resents that Mrs. Van Daan is always criticizing her behavior and saying, "I wouldn't put up with it if she were my daughter." In addition, she dislikes the fact that all of the Van Daans seem a bit lazy to her, especially Peter.

Anne also finds her own mother and sister difficult to bear, for they are always correcting her and telling her she must be quiet. She writes, "Mummy gave me another frightful sermon this morning; I can't bear them. Our ideas are completely opposite." Later she states, "Margot's and Mummy's natures are completely strange for me." Her disagreements with her mother and sister intensify her adolescent rebelliousness. She writes, "Nothing, I repeat, nothing about me is right; my general appearance, my character, my manners are discussed from A to Z. . . .I am not going to take all these insults lying down. I'll show them that Anne Frank wasn't born yesterday." She goes on to say in a later entry, "I have my faults, just like everyone else, I know that, but they thoroughly exaggerate everything." Her emotions are not atypical for a teenage girl, especially one confined to a small space with an anxious mother and quibbling sister.

In spite of the misery that she often feels because of the way she is treated by her mother, her sister, and Mrs. Van Daan. Anne tries to make the best of it. She says, "You only really get to know people when you've had a jolly good row with them. Then and then only can you judge their true characters." She also feels thankful that Mrs. Van Daan is not her mother.

In contrast to her feelings about her mother and sister, Anne feels that "Daddy is a darling." Otto Frank does, indeed, prove that he is caring, resourceful, and wise. He serves as the peacemaker of the group, "pouring oil on troubled waters." He keeps Anne, Margot, and Peter engaged in studying, reading, and making family trees. He also tries to comfort Anne.

Beginning with the entries dated September 28, Anne writes detailed and matter-of-fact accounts of everything the family does and every problem it faces under the confined circumstances of their lives. In the entry on September 29, she even gives a description of how, where, and when each member takes a bath. She also talks about the unhygienic conditions and their being forced to use a glass jar as a toilet bowl until they can find a plumber they can trust with their secret. Another time they cannot speak a single word, move about, or bathe for three days for fear of being detected.

Anne also writes about good things. She tells of Mrs. Van Daan's birthday party, one of the few celebrations that are given in the annex. She also tells about how she and Margot receive sack-like skirts that cost 24 florins each, three times more than pre-war prices. Additionally, Anne reveals that she and her sister will soon begin a correspondence course for short hand.

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