Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank (play) Act 2, Scene 1

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Act 2, Scene 1

  • The new year dawns and Miep and Mr. Kraler come bearing a cake.
  • The residents get so jazzed up about the cake that it brings tears to our eyes.
  • They fight like children about who should cut the cake fairly.
  • We see the greed in Mr. Van Daan, and it's not a pretty sight.
  • Besides trying to finagle the biggest piece of cake for himself, he asks Miep to sell Mrs. Van Daan's fur coat.
  • Mr. Van Daan who wants to sell the memento for cigarettes.
  • When Mr. Kraler tries to tell Mr. Frank some important information in private, it's actually Margot who goes ballistic.
  • She wants to know it firsthand, and Mr. Frank agrees that Kraler should tell everyone what he knows.
  • Kraler relates that there is a man who works at the business who keeps asking about the Franks, and whether Kraler knows their whereabouts.
  • He keeps staring at the bookcase that hides the door to the secret annex.
  • Then he asks for a raise; it's clearly blackmail.
  • People start having hysterics, but it's the faithful Mr. Frank who makes the logical decision to pay the man half. Even if it's bribery, there's nothing they can do but sit and wait to see what happens.
  • Kraler agrees and leaves the room.
  • Anne fires off a storm of repressed anger about being a teenager trapped in the war.
  • She blames the grownups for her problems and explodes on her mother.
  • But after slamming the door and forgetting her cake, she discovers an unlikely ally in Peter.
  • He is totally in awe of her massive demonstration of "sticking it to the man" and joins in her ranting about their situation.
  • Peter then says she can come to his room whenever she wants to talk about things. Hmm… do we detect a friendship forming? Or is it something more?
  • In this scene, we get some more sporadic information from Anne.
  • Mr. Kraler is in the hospital with some ulcers (we wonder what gave him that?) and American forces have landed in Italy.
  • The food rations have been cut even further and everyone is starving.
  • The scene ends with Anne not yearning for the war to be over, but simply to have someone to really talk to.

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