Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank Youth

By Anne Frank

Youth

Anne Frank

Margot’s and Mother’s personalities are so alien to me. I understand my girlfriends better than my own mother. Isn’t that a shame? (9/27/1942.1)

Anne expresses a typical adolescent sentiment – that she can relate to her friends better than to her family.

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)

The trials and tribulations of adolescence are well under way, only they are perhaps exacerbated because nobody can get away from anybody else.

I was suffering then (and still do) from moods that kept my head under water (figuratively speaking) and allowed me to see things only from my own perspective, without calmly considering what the others – those whom I, with my mercurial temperament, had hurt or offended – had said, and then acting as they would have done. (1/2/1944.2)

Anne begins to grow up, reflecting more objectively on her own behavior.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone will ever understand what I mean, if anyone will ever overlook my ingratitude and not worry about whether or not I’m Jewish and merely see me as a teenager badly in need of some good plain fun. (12/24/1943.3)

Anne’s youth is a more important identity marker than her religion.

The war is going to go on despite our quarrels and our longing for freedom and fresh air [. . .] I’m preaching, but I also believe that if I live here much longer I’ll turn into a dried-up old beanstalk. And all I really want is to be an honest-to-goodness teenager! (1/15/1944.5-6)

Anne believes the war has made her grow old too quickly. She has lost her chance to be a young person, enjoying life.

Sis Heyester also writes that girls my age feel very insecure about themselves and are just beginning to discover that they’re individuals with their own ideas, thoughts and habits. I’d just turned thirteen when I came here, so I started thinking of myself and realized that I’ve become an "independent person" sooner than most other girls. (3/17/1944.5)

Anne believes that the natural mental and emotional patterns of growth for adolescents were sped up in her case as a result of living in a difficult situation.

Why didn’t Father support me in my struggle? Why did he fall short when he tried to offer me a helping hand? The answer is this: he used the wrong methods. He always talked to me as if I were a child going through a difficult phase. It sounds crazy, since Father’s the only one who’s given me a sense of confidence and made me feel as if I’m a sensible person. But he overlooked one thing: he failed to see that this struggle to triumph over my difficulties was more important to me than anything else. I didn’t want to hear about "typical adolescent problems," or "other girls," or "you’ll grow out of it." I didn’t want to be treated the same as all-the-other-girls, but as Anne-in-her-own-right, and Pim didn’t understand that. (7/15/1944.6)

Anne wanted parental care and guidance but needed to be seen and taken seriously as an individual rather than being written off as a typical teen.