Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank (play) Faith

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When everything else has been taken away from us, sometimes all that's left is faith. Religion, ceremonies, songs, chants, prayers, and other aspects of faith keep us going when we feel like we can't take it anymore. Faith is probably best represented in Act 1, Scene 5 when the residents celebrate Hanukah. What blows us away is how they still find the energy to celebrate and keep things as normal as possible—if you can call living in a box "normal."

The residents of the annex are thankful (get that, thankful) for all they have. Mrs. Frank tells them, "We are all here, alive. That is present enough." As outsiders to their situation, we might be scratching our heads at what exactly they have to be thankful for. But they are alive and they have each other, and that in itself is enough. As the Hanukah song states, "Many are the reasons for good cheer. Together we'll weather whatever tomorrow will bring."

Faith plays an important role in the play as the residents see less and less of a way out of their meager existence. We see them now relying on the faith that has been so denied to them by the political powers that forced them into hiding. Through the play, we get to see first-hand the fantastic irony that the one thing the Nazis were trying to squash (the Jewish faith) is the only thing they truly cannot kill.

Questions About Faith

  1. Why doesn't Anne burn her Star of David?
  2. On the eve of Hanukah, the residents of the Annex are trying to rally their spirits by being thankful that they still have their lives and some sort of food to eat. But is this enough to sustain them? How can you tell?
  3. What exactly do the residents of the Annex have to be thankful for?
  4. How do the playwrights show the residents' increasing dependence on faith as the play progresses?

Chew on This

Anne writes in her diary and keeps her faith by using her imagination and embracing the power of positive thinking.

The religious passages Mrs. Frank recites represents her increasing dependence on faith as the residents' situation becomes increasingly more dangerous.

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