Study Guide

Mrs. Edith Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (play)

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

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Mrs. Edith Frank

She might not win mom of the year, but Mrs. Frank is definitely up for a nomination. Kind, caring, and dedicated, Mrs. Frank continues throughout the story to make sure everyone has what they need to live a normal and healthy life—even if that life is contained in a shoebox-sized apartment.

Making beans for every meal and darning the same sock over and over again, we see her consistently doing 1940s mom chores. She also employs those annoying mom-isms so many of us are the victims of in our own daily lives. She compares Anne to her older daughter Margot and wants Anne to live up to the bar her sister has already set pretty high. She's constantly harping on Anne to be more lady-like, not to clown around so much, and to straighten up and fly right. On one hand we can see how much she loves her daughter, but on the other hand we can see why Anne keeps complaining, "Mo-om!"

Anne and her mom definitely don't see eye-to-eye and there's a few things going on in their relationship. There's a generation gap as Anne wants to explore her feelings in a more emotional and "less ladylike" way, and there's the obvious attachment Anne has to her father. Mrs. Frank feels hurt that Anne seems to love her father more. As Otto points out, "It's fine to hear you tell me that you love me. But I'd be much happier if you said you loved your mother as well" (1.4).

However, as Anne's course of isolation in the Annex continues, her relationship with her mother begins to grow. She slowly recognizes that being mean to her mother is a childish thing to do. When Anne becomes a "woman" who is more in tune with her better nature, she begins to realize that her mother is an important person in her life: "Look at me, the way I've treated Mother… so mean and horrid to her… I was. I was awful" (2.3). The mother-daughter relationship between Edith and Anne helps us see Anne grow in appreciation of those around her.

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