The Metamorphosis of Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank
A young girl, Anneliese Marie Frank, receives an empty jar of a diary for her thirteenth birthday, amidst much political strife in her new home country of Netherlands. As a German-born Jew in hiding, Anne will eventually fill her diary with over 2 years of experiences of the Secret Annex. Initially, she makes use of her newfound outlet to exhibit her growing interest to become a writer. The diary, for Anne, acts as her personal confidante before her family goes into hiding, and becomes even more valued to her during their ordeal. Eventually, in 1944, Anne will hear of an opportunity for her work to be published after the war, and sets out to revise her entries. Despite this, it does not take away from the appeal for readers of her diary. The audience, as it were, is attracted to the prospect of experiencing the life and times of a person: young, female, Jewish and in hiding. As a diary, there is no foreshadowing in its content, and although in context we understand the inevitable end, we suspend our disbelief to immerse ourselves in the story. The narrative voices of her diary, come with several different identities too. As “Anne”, herself, complete with her own feelings of awkwardness and insecurity; “Anne”, the girl who ponders and philosophizes; and “Kitty”, creating an identity for her diary to lay the basis for a relationship for herself. Between the duality of her personality, and the perspective of her “diary”, Anne Frank demonstrates a process in realizing her own maturity as a writer.
Living in the confinement of the Annex imposes a cruel circumstance upon Anne at a critical time in her life. As an emerging teenager, dealing…
…lf, the content of her diary demonstrates how she has melded her unique experience with her personality to carve out her own sense of self. Where she began as an innocent and somewhat naive girl, she does not lose this sense of innocence. What she does is replace this naivete with a conscious awareness of the scope of her existence, in terms of realizing the potential for her future. It’s no coincidence that being the socially inclined girl she was at school, meant she adapted to life in the Annex through a diary to create a portrait of her life in hiding through her work. For Anne, not only was her diary her personal outlet, but a prism by which she could reflect on herself through her many colourful identities.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of A Young Girl. Eds. Otto H. Frank and Miriam Pressler. Definitive ed. New York: Bantam, 1997.