Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Routine is super-comforting. Some people might love hearing the sound of the garbage trucks rumble by every morning. Other people are soothed by the fact that McDonald's always tastes exactly the same. Or maybe that comfort comes from using the same scented soap day after day.
Anne loves the Westertoren clock, which sounds every quarter of an hour. To her, it feels like a faithful friend:
Father, Mother and Margo still can’t get used to the chiming of the Westertoren clock, which tells us the time every quarter of an hour. Not me, I liked it from the start; it sounds so reassuring, especially at night. (7/11/1942.1)
One night when it fails to chime while they are sitting in silence because there is a burglar outside, she feels deserted and afraid.
This clock also contains a darker symbol: while the clock might continue to chime every fifteen minutes, the lives of the people in the Secret Annex have been turned upside down. Even their routine is still totally abnormal and frightening.