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The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank


by Anne Frank

Edith Frank

Character Analysis

Mean Mommy (But Not Really)

Dang, do we feel bad for Edith Frank. From a purely domestic perspective, her younger daughter ain't easy to get along with. The hormones are raging, and Anne is pitting herself against her mom in a pretty stereotypical fourteen-year-old way.

The fact that they're stuck in close quarters with each other makes the situation precisely 0% more tolerable:

Yesterday Mother and I had another run-in and she really kicked up a fuss. She told Daddy all of my sins and started to cry, which made me cry too, and I already had such an awful headache. I finally told Daddy that I love "him" more than I do Mother, to which he replied that it was just a passing phase, but I don’t think so. I simply can’t stand Mother, and I have to force myself not to snap at her all the time, and to stay calm, when I’d rather slap her across the face. (10/3/1942.2)

Anne accuses her mother, Edith Frank, of being cold and tactless. Although it’s clear to the reader that Anne’s mother is hurt by her daughter’s rebuffs, Anne accuses her mother of instigating that dynamic in their relationship. Mrs. Frank does appear to be similar to Anne—outspoken and frank (guess the last name fits). She often responds to Mrs. van Daan’s provocative comments, and the two women frequently end up fighting.

Sometimes, it appears that Mrs. Frank initiates the fights. Anne thinks there is nothing about her mother that is actually motherly, and often wishes she could have a caring, warm mother to turn to:

Despite all my theories and efforts, I miss – every day and every hour of the day – having a mother who understands me. That’s why with everything I do and write, I imagine the kid of mom I’d like to be with my children later on. The kind of mom who doesn’t take everything people say too seriously, but who does take me seriously. I find it difficult to describe what I mean, but the word "mom" says it all. (12/24/1943.4)

Anne and her mother never develop the kind of close relationship that exists between many mothers and daughters... but then again, they were brutally robbed of the time and space necessary to forge that bond.

Edith Frank Timeline