Although it's certainly an integral part of her journey from childhood to adolescence, Anne's sexuality, as well as her desire to love and be loved, deserves its own theme. Anne spends a lot of time puzzling out her sexual and romantic desires. What does it mean to be romantically involved with someone versus just being friends? For instance, Anne swears she's not in love with Peter van Daan (she argues that the only boy she ever truly loved was Peter Schiff), but many of the feelings she has for Peter van Daan could be characterized as love.
Anne inhabits a sexually repressed world – sexual matters aren't generally discussed with children, let alone taught in school. As a result, Anne spends a lot of time puzzling out what it feels like to be a sexual being, what it means to be sexually normal, and how sex works. Anne dedicates several journal entries to explaining the workings of human sexuality. Given the repressed environment she inhabits, Anne has no idea that some of her innocent ideas about sex could be considered scandalous. She writes unabashedly of touching her own breasts and of wanting to touch her best friend Jacqueline's breasts during her school days.
On a meta-textual level, sexuality was initially a sticking point when it came to the publication The Diary of a Young Girl. Mr. Frank – the lone survivor of the Frank family – heavily edited out Anne's unabashed speculations on sexuality and bodily functions. Later editions have restored the diary's original passages on sexuality. To this day, the sexually explicit nature of Anne Frank's diary (particularly due to the book's few, brief homoerotic passages) is controversial, leading to the book being banned in some libraries in the United States. Anne's examination of her own sexuality is part of what makes The Diary of a Young Girl so powerful – it offers an honest, unabashed portrayal of what it means to be human (and in this case, a teenage girl).
Love and Sexuality ThemeTracker
Love and Sexuality Quotes in The Diary of Anne Frank
I think spring is inside me. I feel spring awakening, I feel it in my entire body and soul. I have to force myself to act normally. I'm in a state of utter confusion, don't know what to read, what to write, what to do. I only know I'm longing for something…