The Diary of Anne Frank

This study guide will help you analyze the autobiography The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Franks dagbog) by Anne Frank. You can also find a summary of the text, full characterizations, as well as inspiration for interpreting the diary and putting it into perspective.

Excerpt from the study guide:

Anne confides things to Peter that she tells no one else. She feels she can be who she really is in his presence and even thinks about marrying Peter one day. While falling in love, Anne admires Peter and appreciates all his qualities. As Anne and Peter also get closer physically, the next height of their relationship is reached: “Remember yesterday’s date, since it was a red-letter day for me. Isn’t it an important day for every girl when she gets her first kiss?” (79%).

Anne is extremely happy after Peter has held her in his arms for an entire evening and kissed her on the head as a farewell. Her longing for him is heightened after this first approach. She feels safe in his arms and has the feeling that he succeeds in bringing out her inner side: “Peter’s reached a part of me that no one has ever reached before, except in my dream!” (82%).

After Anne and Peter kiss each other on the mouth, Anne doubts whether it is morally acceptable to approach a boy in this manner when she is only fourteen years old. Although she believes her loneliness in the secret annex justifies her behavior, she decides to tell her parents about her new intimacy with Peter. However, shortly after Anne passionately pleads to continue to be close to Peter despite her father`s concerns, her desire for him fades away on its own.

Disappointment with Peter

After Anne's “laborious conquest”, she no longer reveals her true self to Peter, but starts withdrawing into herself again: “if ever he wants to force the lock again, he'll have to use a harder crowbar!” (89%). Peter does not turn out to be the confidant Anne had so eagerly hoped for. She has the feeling that he is hiding his inner self from her.

As Anne's infatuation phase wears off, she no longer idealizes Peter, but becomes aware of his character flaws: “Peter is kind and good, and yet I can’t deny that he’s disappointed me in many ways. I especially don’t care for his dislike of religion, his table conversations and various things of that nature.” (94%). She cannot understand why Peter does not want to improve his “weakness” (96%). It bothers her that he is too comfortable to work on himself and that he has no goal in life.

The more Anne pays attention to Peter's character weaknesses, the more she feels as if he is leaning on her. Shortly after their most intense episode in their relationship, Anne looks back critically on the intimacies exchanged between them. 

Anne realizes that she created an ideal image of Peter and became interested in him mainly because she longed for intimacy. She regrets using “intimacy to get closer to Peter” (98%) instead of keeping their relationship on a friendly basis. For now, she does not know how to escape Peter's constant need for love and affection: “I forced Peter, more than he realizes, to get close to me, and now he’s holding on for dear life. I honestly don’t see any effective way of shaking him off and getting him back on his own two feet.” (98%).

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The Diary of Anne Frank

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