Reflection of Anne Frank Play

In loving memory of Anne Frank

Ashley Liu and Neha Vagvala Honors English 7

Analysis of "Diary of Anne Frank" 

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."

Desmond Tutu

Entry One

   Conflict between Anne and Mrs. Frank are seen throughout the whole play.Like the stereotypical teenager, Anne does not get along very well with her mother. The conflict begins with Mrs. Frank’s response to Anne’s behavior with Mr. Van Daan. She states that Anne should have never talked back to an elder. She also asks Anne why she can’t be more like Margot. That was the last straw for Anne. Already feeling disconnected from her mother because she could never help Anne with her emotional problems or her feelings, this severs the motherly and daughterly connection between Anne and Mrs. Frank. She retaliates exclaiming how they always say that Margot is better and that everything she does is wrong. Her mother and Margot are left feeling hurt while Anne storms off into her room.

   The reader can clearly see the conflict between Anne and her mother. Anne feels like her mom doesn’t understand her and wants her to fit the mold her sister has created for her. Her mom on the other hand, feels that Anne needs to be more dignified and have more courteous. The problem is deeper than the brief altercation they had, it goes back to Anne not being the typical German-Jewish girl at that time and her mother not knowing how to deal with her or help her with anything besides her physical well-being.

   If I was in Anne Frank’s position, I would have also felt angered if my mother wanted me to be more like my sister and if she couldn’t talk to me about personal problems. I would want her to understand me and not ask me to change who I was or to be proper and prim all the time. But, that being said, I would try to understand her standpoint as well and talk to her about it. I know that her mother just wants Anne to be like the average girl back in those days, but I would accept her differences and try to find a different approach to tell her what’s wrong and what’s right but I would also be more open. I know that it’s also common for parents to use one child as an example for another but I would try to avoid that because it usually does not help and does not let the child know that you love them for who they are.



 

Neha Vagvala

" 'You're all against me!... And you worst of all!' " (Prentice Hall Literature page 803)."'

Entry Two

   Conflict arises when Dussel ,the Jewish dentist who is a friend of Miep’s fiancee, joins the Franks and the Van Daans in hiding. It started when Mr. Kraler explains how Mr. Dussel was in trouble and begged Mr. Frank to help. Mr. Frank, being the friendly and generous man that he was, warmly welcomed Mr. Dussel to stay with the already large party of seven. Assuming that The Van Daans would approve, he makes his decision without consulting the rest of the people in hiding. Mr. Van Daan, ever so slyly, brings up the fact that food is already sparse as it is and sharing it with one more person would mean that there would be smaller portions for everyone. Even Peter turns away, ashamed of his father’s rude remark. Mr. Frank, on the other hand, views this as an opportunity to save another Jewish man from the prosecution from the Nazis.

   The reader can clearly see that Mr. Van Daan and Mr. Frank have conflicting views on Mr. Dussel staying and joining them in hiding.That is how this event relates to the conflict in this story. I would have reacted the same way that Mr. Frank had because I believe that saving someone’s life is more valuable over the fact that you have to make some adjustments to accommodate the person. Although in this case, that perhaps meant less food and room to have an eighth person stay in the small attic, I would have the satisfaction of saving another Jewish person from going to concentration camp. I feel that if I was in the shoes of Mr. Frank and I declined the offer of Mr. Dussel staying, I would feel guilty even if it meant that I could keep more of the space and meals to myself. Though Mr. Frank had done the right thing, something I would have done differently is that I would have consulted the other members that were staying in the attic before making the final decision as a courtesy to my guests.



Neha Vagvala

' "To Mr. Dussel. Welcome. We're very honored to have you with us." '(Prentice Hall Literature page 809).

" 'To Mr. Dussel. Welcome. We're very honored to have you with us' "(Prentice Hall Literature page 809).

Entry Three

   During the Hanukkah celebration, Anne made small gifts for everyone in hiding. Anne gave Peter a secondhand razor that Miep got for her. She also made a present for Mouschi. Peter heads to his room to give Mouschi his present and put away the razor. Being in a cheerful and playful mood, Peter puts a towel under his coat pretending it is Mouschi. Mr. Dussel, being allergic to all fur-bearing animals, immediately thinks it is a cat. He does not find the prank very amusing and says that even Peter’s clothes are enough to set off an allergic reaction. Mr. Van Daan firmly says that the cat is going out. Mrs. Van Daan, sensing conflict, tells Anne to start singing the Hanukkah song.

   Anne begins to sing but Mr. Frank stops her and is about to blow out the candle of the menorah when they all hear a crash from below. Everyone is frozen in horror. Mr. Frank turns off a light and signals to Peter to turn off one too. As Peter gets on a chair to turn off a lamp, he loses his balance and the iron lampshade falls to the ground. Whoever was down stairs runs away. The Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel are terrified out of their wits. Anne faints while Mr. Frank goes downstairs to investigate. He comes back up with the bad news that the person downstairs was a thief. This leaves everyone in a dead-end because someone now knows that there are people upstairs. The group discusses between themselves about whether the thief would report it to the Green Police or not. Trying to calm the group, Mr. Frank urges Anne to start singing. All are afraid and fear for their lives but join in with Anne.

   Pretending that I have allergies to fur-bearing animals, like Mr. Dussel, I would not be very amused with Peter’s prank. On the contrary, I would not have threatened to throw Mouschi out because the cat is very special to Peter and I would want Peter to be as happy as possible while in hiding. In a risky dilemma where a group’s safety is in place, I would have tried to calm the group. When one person panics, everyone panics.The purpose is since someone already knows where we are, then there is nothing we can do about it.It is best to live life to the fullest instead of in fear.

Ashley Liu

" 'Together/ We'll weather/ Whatever tomorrow may bring' "(Prentice Hall Literature page 831).

Entry Four

   During the new year, Miep goes to visit the Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel. She brings a cake for everyone to enjoy. At this point in time, the residents in hiding are very impatient with each other since the food rations have been drawn out very thin. They bicker over who will cut the cake and how big the slices are. Dussel says that Mrs. Van Daan should not cut the cake and accuses her of always giving Mr. Van Daan the largest food portions. Mrs. Van Daan looks murderous and Mr. Van Daan advances on Dussel with the knife. Mr. Frank tells Miep,”You see what a little sugar cake does to us? It goes right to our heads!” (Prentice Hall Literature page 838). Along with the stretching out of the meager food rations, the relations between the residents of the attic have become strained. They are constantly quarreling about little things.

   Fortunately, the dilemma does not escalate into a much more dangerous situation.While Mrs. Frank is cutting the cake, Peter asks Miep about his cat Mouschi, who had disappeared. Dussel claims that someone could have already “...had a nice big dinner from that cat” (Prentice Hall Literature page 839). Peter is furious and looks like he wants to hit Dussel but he is stopped by Mr. Frank. Mrs. Frank, noticing trouble, quickly changes the topic. She compliments Miep on her baking skills which seems to help tone down the feelings of hatred in the attic.

   In a situation where many people are in close-quarters, I would attempt to prevent any conflict like Mrs. Frank does. Mrs. Frank tries to ease the situation by changing the topic of the conversation. This is a very good practice because in the little space that the eight people are hiding in, a lot of altercations could escalate. Also, when someone is upset, they cannot just go outside for a walk like people today do. If the Franks, the Van Daans, and Dussel were upset, they would not be able to relieve their anger. The only way to control it would be to calm yourself down. That would not be very easy if the person that was agitating you was nearby. Their lives in hiding are very different from ours today. Handling your feelings while in hiding is very difficult because you are not able to run away from the situation. This is why Mrs. Frank’s practice of settling the conflict before it grows is excellent.

Ashley Liu

" 'You must have used all of your sugar rations for weeks"' (Prentice Hall Literature page 837).

Entry Five

   Conflict reappeared when Mr. Van Daan wanted to sell Mrs. Van Daan’s fur coat. To Mrs. Van Daan, the coat is a sentimental keepsake of tremendous value given to her by her father. The fact that is was being taken away from her tore her apart and she begged her husband to stop while she sobbed on her knees. Mr. Van Daan said how it would help someone in need of a coat. He only appeared to be a good person while under that, he was hiding the fact that he wanted to sell the coat so that Miep would be able to purchase cigarettes for him with the money. The expensive fur coat, he must have been thinking, was the only thing that could have enough money value to buy the even more expensive and scarce cigarettes given their difficult circumstances.

   In my opinion, Mr. Van Daan was being extremely greedy and selfish. Maybe Mrs. Van Daan always went a little overboard with the amount of affection for her material items, but the fur coat was something given to her by her beloved father and it was one of the few things she could hold on to to comfort her during hiding. The fur coat was also something she cared about very dearly about not to mention how much money her father paid for it.

   In Mr. Van Daan’s shoes, I would not have taken my wife’s coat in exchange for some cigarettes that are harmful to my health. I understand smoking can be an addiction, but I would look at hiding as an opportunity to break free as Mrs. Van Daan had stated earlier. For Mrs. Van Daan on the other hand, I do not have as much of love for material things as she does, but I would have reacted in a similar manner but definitely not as full blown as Mrs. Van Daan. For example, I value my cell phone, and although it has never been taken away from me, I know many friends that have them taken away when they are in trouble and how much they complain about it as well. I am sure they put up a fit when their parents are taking away his or her possession of the phone. But the difference is that it is not out of selfishness like Mr. Van Daan but as a form of punishment.Espiecially at a dificult times like World War II, the value of material things is no where as high as the value of love and family.

Neha Vagvala

" 'No! No! No! Don't you dare take that! You hear? It's mine!' "(Prentice Hall Literature page 840).

Entry Six

   Earlier in the play, the Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel talked about the increasing rat problem. Their food was disappearing from the safe. Everyone finds out that the loss of food was not caused by rats, but Mr. Van Daan. One night, Mr. Van Daan sneaksed downstairs to steal some bread from the safe. While closing the safe, the lid creaked. Mrs. Frank sees him and screams for everyone. Everyone rushes to the scene and Mrs. Frank loses all control. She yells at him about how he would sacrifice his child for his own comfort and demands for him to get out. The others try to convince Mrs. Frank to let the Van Daans stay. She finally agrees but only if Mr. Van Daan never goes downstairs again where the food safe is. 

   This conflict shows what kind of man Mr. Van Daan really is. “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction” (Erich Fromm). Mr. Van Daan constantly tried to satisfy his hunger by stealing from the safe but was never satisfied. This left consequences such as a lack in trust. He even sacrificed the well-being of all the children by helping himself to the food.

   In a case where someone is breaking the rules at the expense of others, I would have done the same thing as Mrs. Frank. The rules were set in place at the beginning of their time in hiding. It is a shocker that someone broke the rules, at such a dangerous time. It is even a bigger surprise that the rule-breaker was an adult. High expectations are set for the adults when children are around 24/7. Punishments must be put in place to make sure the rules are never broken again. In today’s society and back then, it is always women and children first. Adult men are expected to care for the needs of women and children before their own. What Mr. Van Daan did was very immoral back then, and in the present time. Mr. Van Daan was unable to control his greed and it affected everyone around him.

Ashley Liu

" 'It was you, and all the time we thought it was the rats!' "(Prentice Hall Literature page 856).

Entry Seven

   In much of the play, The Diary of Anne Frank, conflict plays an important role. Events that lead to the Franks’ capture all revolve around the central theme of conflict. During the course of the two years of being in hiding with each other, the residents of the attic started turning on each other. They were forgetting who was their true enemy, the Nazis. Everyone was already in an agitated state as their life was slipping away from them with each passing day. Not only did the Franks, the Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel have to deal with the internal conflict between each other, they had to deal with external conflict from the outside world.

   From this play, I learned that there will always be conflict in one's life. Though there will be conflict, all that matters is how one deals with it. Anne handled all the conflict during their time in hiding differently from the others. She always looked to the positive side of things. For example, when no workers show up for work on a Friday, everyone is worried and fears of what is to come. While Peter is in despair, Anne comforts him by saying how beautiful the day was and thinking about all the good memories she had accumulated during her childhood. " 'I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart' " (Prentice Hall Literature page 866). Anne only looks at the good things in life, leaving the evil and darkness in the shadwos. Anne was a very special young lady and would have made a big difference in the workd if she had survived. Not many people, even today, are able to push away negative thoughts. 

   Another example where conflict is dealt with nicely is right before the Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel get arrested. Mr. Frank and everyone else know that the end is near. " 'For the past two years we have lived in fear. Now we can live in hope' " (Prentice Hall Literature pae 867). Mr. Frank knows that the conflict is greater than ever, but refuses to let the fact that they may die get to him. He thinks positively, about how they finally are sure of what is to come, instead of living in fear for all their lives. Living in certainty of your future is a marvelous thing. No matter what the residents of the attic have to face, they will face it with certainty and courage. 

Ashley Liu 

Works Cited and Consulted

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All photos selected by Ashley Liu

Lost- Purple Planet Music (Dark Music)

http://www.purple-planet.com/dark-backgrounds/4584537439

Selected by Ashley Liu

 

" 'In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart' " (Prentice Hall Literature page 869).