The Diary of Anne Frank
Peter van Daan
Peter’s actual historical name was Peter van Pels.
Through Anne’s eyes at the beginning of her diary, Peter is lazy and has a weak character. He’s also shy and extremely awkward, hardly a person worth her notice. But a year and a half after they’ve been in hiding, Anne suddenly starts to notice that Peter looks at her with longing. Soon she has a crush on him, and decides that he is very sweet and desperately in need of affection, which she tries to give. But Anne is soon disappointed with Peter. He doesn’t like religion and he is too lazy and weak to improve himself. He seems satisfied with mediocrity and takes the easy path in life rather than one of work and personal growth. Further, he either isn’t as deep as she wanted him to be or he doesn’t know how to open himself up to her. He promises Anne he will never fight with her, because neither one of them wants things to get uncomfortable if they fight and then have to continue living together. He doesn’t fight with her, but it is never clear if that’s because he’s keeping his promise or he just doesn’t have any fight in him. It is not that he is a peacemaker – rather, he is a passive person.