Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank Love

By Anne Frank

Love

Anne Frank

Whenever I go upstairs, it’s always so I can see "him." Now that I have something to look forward to, my life here has improved greatly. (2/18/1944.1)

Some readers believe that Anne begins to explore her new feelings for Peter van Daan out a need for something pleasant in her life rather than out of genuine interest in him. Even if that’s true, they learn to comfort each other in a time of great need. That might not be a Hollywood romance, but it sounds like some kind of love to us.

Peter Schiff and Peter van Daan have melted into one Peter, who’s good and kind and whom I long for desperately. (2/28/1944.2)

Not surprisingly under the circumstances, Anne is getting her fantasy life and her real life all mixed up. We wonder if Peter’s diary, if he had one, would hold a similar entry.

In the meantime, things are getting more and more wonderful here. I think, Kitty, that true love may be developing in the Annex. All those jokes about marrying Peter if we stayed here long enough weren’t so silly after all. Not that I’m thinking of marrying him, mind you. I don’t even know what he’ll be like when he grows up. Or if we’ll even love each other enough to get married. (3/22/1944.2)

As usual, Anne is a blend of practicality and high emotion when it comes to love. She delights in the idea of true love, but knows that people change. She seems to view love as existing in stages, with only a very high stage being worthy of marriage. Is this similar or different from your own views on love? How?

I know I’m starting at a very young age. Not even fifteen and already so independent – that’s a little hard for other people to understand. I’m pretty sure Margot would never kiss a boy unless there was some talk of an engagement or marriage. Neither Peter nor I have any such plans. I’m sure that Mother never touched a man before she met Father. What would my girlfriends or Jacque say if they knew I’d lain in Peter’s arms with my heart against his chest, my head on his shoulder and his head and face against mine! (4/17/1944.2)

Anne is definitely doing a little bragging here. She’s proud of her experience, and seems to consider herself very modern in comparison with the rest of her family. She doesn’t mention love in this passage, but how do her views on romantic love compare with her views on sex and relationships?

Suddenly the everyday Anne slipped away and the second Anne took her place. The second Anne who’s never overconfident or amusing, but wants only love and to be gentle.

I sat pressed against him and felt a wave of emotion come over me. Tears rushed to my eyes; those from the left fell on his overalls, while those from the right trickled down my nose and into the air and landed beside the first. Did he notice? He made no movement to show that he had. Did he feel the same way I did? He hardly said a word. Did he realize he had two Annes at his side? My questions went unanswered. (4/28/1944.1-2)

Anne’s description of herself is very confusing, and shows that she was very confused. But who ever said love and relationships aren’t confusing? Peter is probably just as confused as Anne. Neither of them can give voice to their confusion. We can all relate to that.

Everything’s going fine between Peter and me. The poor boy has an even greater need for tenderness than I do. He still blushes every evening when he gets his good-night kiss, and then begs for another one. Am I merely a better substitute for Boche? I don’t mind. He’s so happy just knowing somebody loves him.

After my laborious conquest, I’ve distanced myself a little from the situation, but you mustn’t think my love has cooled. Peter’s a sweetheart, but I’ve slammed the door to my inner self; if he wants to force the lock again, he’ll have to use a harder crowbar. (5/19/1944.2-3)

Anne enjoys giving care and happiness, but herself feels the need for greater emotional intimacy and understanding which Peter does not seem able to provide.

I know very well that he was my conquest, and not the other way around. I created an image of him in my mind, pictured him as a quiet, sweet, sensitive boy badly in need of friendship and love! I needed to pour out my heart to a living person. I wanted a friend who would help me find my way again. I accomplished what I set out to do and drew him, slowly but surely, toward me. When I finally got him to be my friend, it automatically developed into an intimacy that, when I think about it now, seems outrageous. (7/15/1944.9)

Anne recognizes that she didn’t fall in love with Peter, but turned him into someone else in her mind because of her desperate need to love and be loved.