Kids will be kids—unless they're hiding from the Nazis… or maybe even if they're hiding from the Nazis. One thing the playwrights try to impart to us is that there's no stopping the power of youth. Anne makes it clear that she won't stop growing up, no matter what her situation. She plays and is silly, fights with her mom, idolizes her dad, and yearns for normal teen things like girl talk, going to the movies, and friendships. She doesn't forget how to have fun, but she does manage to do a lot of growing in the two years she's stuck in the attic. She even manages to teach Peter a thing or two about how not to be a stick in the mud.
Anne's changes are physical, mental and spiritual. She grows taller and gets her period, but she also starts to realize some important life lessons that signal her transition into being an adult. She forgives and makes peace with her mom, stops picking on Peter long enough to become a true friend to him, and realizes her true talent for writing. But she also is able to contemplate a bigger context beyond herself and her situation. She recognizes the good in the world and the spirituality it holds for her. In this, she is saved.
Questions About Youth
- If Anne had survived, would she have published her diary about her experiences as a teenager?
- Are Anne's experiences as a teenager similar or different to those of a teenager of today?
- Do Margot or Peter show any growth in the play? Why or why not?
- Do Anne's parents recognize any of the changes in her? How can you tell?
Chew on This
Anne's experiences as a teenager during World War II make her more interesting than a normal teen.
Many teens could learn a lot about their own lives by reading about Anne Frank's experiences.