The Diary of Anne Frank

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Peter van Daan Character Analysis

Son of Mr. and Mrs. van Daan, and (eventually) Anne's boyfriend. Peter is 16 when he joins the Frank family in the Secret Annex. Anne initially views Peter as awkward and uninteresting, but later comes to understand that he's an emotionally complicated human being full of dreams, just as she is.
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Peter van Daan Character Timeline in The Diary of Anne Frank

The timeline below shows where the character Peter van Daan appears in The Diary of Anne Frank. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Year 1942
Inner Self, Outer Self, and Isolation Theme Icon
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...feels dissatisfied with Hello. She reveals in her diary that she longs for another boy, Peter Schiff, whom she loves "as she's never loved anyone." (full context)
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...at Mr. Frank's workplace), Miep's husband Jan, Mr. Kleiman (an employee of Mr. Frank's), and Mr. van Daan (the head of the van Daan household and a friend of Mr. Frank's), the Frank... (full context)
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...month has passed, and the van Daans have moved into the Annex. Their 15-year-old son, Peter van Daan, seems awkward and uninteresting. Mr. van Daan tells the Franks that their escape... (full context)
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...van Daan, and that her mother continues to pick on her. Anne continues to find Peter obnoxious. (full context)
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...Tensions continue to rise. Mr. van Daan and Mrs. van Daan have a loud argument. Peter is convinced that he has various illnesses. Mrs. Frank and Mrs. van Daan bicker over... (full context)
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...bed, so she can switch it on when she hears gunfire. Mr. van Daan and Peter have built a food safe for the Annex. Mrs. van Daan, according to Anne, is... (full context)
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September 25th. The van Daans playfully ask Anne if she'll ever "love Peter like a brother," and Anne is mortified. The men of the Annex devise a clever... (full context)
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...by the Franks and the van Daans for innocently lying down in bed next to Mr. van Daan . Anne finds their teasing silly. Anne and her mother are at odds again, and... (full context)
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...circumstances, the Annex dwellers still manage to exchange presents: Anne receives a Kewpie doll, and Mr. van Daan , Mr. Dussel, and Mr. Frank all receive handmade gifts from Mr. Voskuijl (Bep's father... (full context)
Year 1943
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March 25th. Peter and Margot overhear some noise in the warehouse and panic spreads through the Annex. It's... (full context)
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...Anne writes an additional entry, titled "The Attitude of the Annex Residents Toward the War." Mr. van Daan (whom Anne considers somewhat pessimistic) argues that the war will continue through the end of... (full context)
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August 9th. The description continues – Anne now describes supper. Anne remarks that Mr. van Daan and Mrs. van Daan eat generous portions of the best bits of food. She observes... (full context)
Year 1944
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...reveals that her desire for companionship has led her to attempt to become friends with Peter. Anne feels that she can see beneath Peter's exterior self, and she wishes that he... (full context)
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January 24th. Anne is surprised when she has a frank conversation about sex with Peter after supper – Peter tells her that Mouschi is a tomcat, and this leads to... (full context)
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...that her longing is at least partially resolved. Following a small argument with Mr. Dussel, Peter takes Anne aside and confides in her that in the past he used to fly... (full context)
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...Anne takes it upon herself to fetch the potatoes from the attic. Anne runs into Peter on her way to get the potatoes (his room just so happens to be en... (full context)
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Mrs. Frank then sends Anne up for more potatoes. On this second trip Peter and Anne end up talking to each other. Peter mentions that he's thinking about converting... (full context)
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February 18th. Anne admits that whenever she goes upstairs, it's always to see Peter. Anne quickly explains that while she feels her life has improved, she isn't in love... (full context)
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February 19th. Anne is fraught with worry that Peter doesn't really like her. Over the course of the morning, she only speaks to him... (full context)
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...Anne has taken to going to the attic almost every morning. This morning, she finds Peter cleaning out the attic, and the two sit together and stare out the window at... (full context)
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After signing off from her letter to Kitty, Anne adds a postscript to Peter. She tells him that she knows that they've been missing out on so much in... (full context)
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February 27th. Anne confesses that she thinks of Peter all the time. She speculates that she and Peter are similar because "neither Peter nor... (full context)
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February 28th. Anne feels like her desire for Peter is a waking nightmare. She feels like she has to pretend to be her normal,... (full context)
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...Anne reflects that spending time with Margot isn't as nice as it would be with Peter. Anne then reflects on love, and suspects that she can't articulate what it is. "Love... (full context)
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Anne sees Peter in the afternoon, and they talk about their parents. Peter admits that his parents fight... (full context)
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...is watching over her. Anne admits that she might end up falling in love with Peter. Peter broaches the subject of love in passing that evening – he asks Anne if... (full context)
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...discovers that, after their conversation about his parents, she feels a sense of responsibility toward Peter. Peter has told her that he doesn't need friends, but Anne is sure that he... (full context)
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...cheerful exterior," and she discovered her longing for a boyfriend. "Now I live only for Peter," she writes. Unlike her mother, who encourages those who suffer to think of all others... (full context)
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March 12th. Anne is unsure whether Peter really likes her or not, and she has grown melancholy. Anne worries that she's annoying... (full context)
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...shortage and the stress of confinement. According to Anne, Mrs. van Daan wallows in self-pity, Mr. van Daan smokes and alternates between loving and hating his wife, Mrs. Frank finds solace in knowing... (full context)
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March 16th. Anne speculates that she's much more restless than Peter because she doesn't have a room of her own. She feels she can only be... (full context)
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March 19th. Anne and Peter retreat to the attic in the evening, where in the fading light of an open... (full context)
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March 20th. Anne worries that Margot likes Peter, and that this will be a source of friction between them. Margot replies that she... (full context)
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March 22nd. Anne feels that she and Peter are in love. Anne swears she isn't thinking of marrying him. ("I don't even know... (full context)
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...Annex, and the Germans spray the airmen with bullets. The incident terrifies Anne. Anne and Peter have another conversation about sex – he tells her about contraceptives and about male puberty.... (full context)
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March 24th. The adults have grown aware of Peter and Anne's friendship, and they riddle the two with teasing remarks. Meanwhile, Anne wonders whether... (full context)
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March 28th. Anne finds herself in a quandary. Mrs. Frank has forbidden Anne from visiting Peter in the attic (she believes Mrs. van Daan is jealous). Meanwhile, Peter has invited both... (full context)
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...what gifts the Annex dwellers and their friends from the office are able to spare. Peter and Anne are able to see each other again, and they have a frank conversation... (full context)
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April 5th. Anne has resolved to let go of her tortured feelings surrounding Peter, and has shifted her attentions instead to her schoolwork. Anne wishes to become a journalist,... (full context)
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April 11th. Peter alerts Mr. Frank to a break-in at the warehouse. Anne and the other denizens of... (full context)
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April 15th. Peter is careless and leaves the warehouse door locked. Mr. Kugler is forced to smash a... (full context)
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April 16th. Anne reports that Peter has kissed her – she and Peter were cuddling in the attic the day before,... (full context)
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April 17th. Anne and Peter continue to cuddle and kiss, and Anne is in raptures. "Why should we stay apart... (full context)
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April 18th. Anne and Peter have a discussion about female sex organs (Peter has no clue what female anatomy is... (full context)
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April 28th. Anne hasn't forgotten her dream about Peter Schiff; she still longs for the ecstasy she felt in the dream. Anne manages to... (full context)
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May 2nd. Anne resolves to tell her father about her relationship with Peter. Mr. Frank is at first accepting, but upon further thought he cautions Anne against the... (full context)
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May 5th. Mr. Frank is upset that Anne and Peter continue to engage in "Knutscherej" (necking). Anne writes him a letter, telling him that when... (full context)
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May 19th. Anne and Peter continue their romance, though Anne has decided to shut him out from her "inner self."... (full context)
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May 26th. Anne feels "utterly broken, inside and out." Anne feels disappointed in Peter, and the tension brought about by confinement, food shortages, anti-Semitism, and the long-delayed invasion is... (full context)
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...feels like she hasn't found someone who will take her feelings seriously. Anne feels that Peter only loves her as a friend, given that "some mysterious force is holding us back…."... (full context)
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...16th. Tensions are rising. Mrs. van Daan is terrified that she'll be killed, jealous that Peter confides in Anne, and upset that Mr. Dussel doesn't return her flirtations in kind. (full context)
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...Tensions have eased in the Annex as the Allied invasion continues. Anne is worried about Peter's "weak" character. She wonders why he admits to being weak and doesn't try to change... (full context)
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Anne then turns her thoughts to Peter. She speculates that she became intimate with him before she realized that she could never... (full context)
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...feels that life in the Annex, therefore, has been far harder on her, Margot, and Peter than it has on the adults: "…ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only... (full context)
Afterword
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...transferred to one more unknown camp after that, where she dies on an unknown date. Peter is forced to march from Auschwitz to Mauthausen in the March 1945 "death march." He... (full context)