January 2. Anne reads her previous entries on her mother and has a change of heart. Anne recognizes her part in making her mother act nervous and irritable, and feels sorry for her actions. She resolves to stop judging her mother so harshly, even though she admits that she can never love her mother "with the devotion of a child."
1944 is a year of many changes for Anne, the first of which being her shift in attitude toward her mother. Anne's changing attitude toward her mother can be seen as part of her journey into greater maturity.
January 6th. Anne has two confessions to make. First, Anne speculates that Mrs. Frank sees her more as a friend than as a daughter. Anne goes on to imagine how a real mother would act. Her second confession is more personal. She speaks openly about how she's going through puberty, and how her period is "a sweet secret." She also admits to feeling "a terrible urge to touch [her] breasts." Anne confesses to having felt her friend Jacqueline's breasts out of curiosity, and to having kissed her. Anne admits that she goes "into ecstasy" when she sees female nudes in her art history book. "Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend!"
Anne's thoughts on her mother are further indication of her growing maturity, and of her feelings of isolation from her mother. The homoeroticism of this passage led it to be excluded from early editions of the journal. This passage shows Anne's simultaneous innocence about and fascination with sex. She's clearly aware and unafraid of being sexual, but at the same time is seemingly unaware that her homosexual feelings could be considered taboo.
January 6th. In a second letter to Kitty, Anne 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 would look beneath her own "chatty exterior." Anne insists that she isn't in love with Peter.
Anne is beginning to discern between her outer self and inner self in this passage. She realizes that, like her, Peter contains an "inner self," and she senses that she might be able to confide in this "inner Peter."
Anne recalls a dream she had the night before about Peter Schiff, in which Peter places his cheek against hers. Anne also recounts dreams she's had about her grandmother (who appeared as a guardian angel) and Hanneli.
Anne's desire both for romantic love and friendship is embodied in her dreams of Peter Schiff. Anne's visions of her grandmother have taken on a new meaning – her grandmother now represents safety and guidance.
January 7th. Anne tells the story of how she fell in love with Peter Schiff. She also confesses that when her father kissed her that morning, she wished he himself were Peter Schiff. Anne recounts a conversation she once had with her father about sex. At that time, her father had said that he felt Anne couldn't understand sex. Anne now feels that she does, and she longs for Peter Schiff. She admits to fantasizing about him, and she wishes she could marry him.
Peter Schiff becomes the focus for and the embodiment of Anne's sexual and romantic desires. Anne considers how her younger self regarded sexuality, and realizes that she feels like she's now mature enough to understand sexual desire. At the same time, her longing for Peter Schiff can also be seen as an extension of her desire for a real friend.
January 12th. Anne reflects on her relationship with her mother – she speculates that Mrs. Frank must think she has a fantastic relationship with her daughters. Anne pauses to consider that sometimes she sees herself as others might see her: as "Anne Frank." Anne concludes that even though she often felt like an orphan in her own family, God has sent her someone to help her: the vision of Peter Schiff.
In adjusting her attitude toward her mother, Anne is able to see her mother as a human being complete with inner and outer selves. Anne reflects on how her mother's inability to be a real parent is connected with her feelings of isolation. She believes romantic love is the solution to this isolation.
January 15th. The Annex dwellers have taken to dividing up all of their food according to separate factions. Mrs. Frank is getting some extra sugar for her birthday, which has sparked jealousy in Mrs. van Daan. Meanwhile, Mr. Dussel often helps himself to more than his fair share of gravy at supper. "Are most people so stingy and selfish?" Anne wonders.
Anne's journey into adolescence involves questioning and assessing the actions of the adults around her. She wonders if this selfishness is just part of human nature. Of course, to some extent, the adult's actions result form their extreme situation confined in the Annex. At the same time, by being confined with the adults Anne is getting a true glimpse into the adult world, and learning that this world—which children often imagine as being rational, virtuous, and good—is much more complex, and filled with both negative and positive traits and actions.
January 19th. Anne feels that her dream of Peter Schiff has changed her. Anne realizes that she no longer feels jealous of Margot's relationship with Mr. Frank. She assesses her behavior toward her parents, and wonders if she'll ever be the person she hopes to be.
Anne believes that the solution to her loneliness can be found in a romantic relationship. She continues to assess her own behavior in an effort to shape her outer self.
January 22nd. "Can you tell me why people go to such lengths to hide their real selves?" Anne wonders why she behaves differently when she's around other people, and wonders whether there will be anyone she can truly confide in. Anne feels that she's become more adult since her dream about Peter Schiff. She has a new attitude toward the conflicts in the house – she feels that all the conflicts "might have taken a different turn if we'd remained open…instead of seeing the worst side." Anne hopes to be more insightful in her interactions with others in the Annex.
Anne's insights into herself and her relationship to others grow more sophisticated and nuanced by the day. She realizes that all people – not just her – contain inner and outer selves. She reflects on how she only shows her outer self in public, and wonders if she'll ever share her inner self with someone. Her insights into conflicts in the Annex reveal her growing maturity and generosity.
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 a discussion of male and female genitalia. Anne is glad to learn that she can talk to a young person of the opposite sex in a normal way about sexual matters.
Anne and Peter realize that they can talk to each other about things they never thought they could discuss with another person. It shows that they're both becoming more mature.
January 28th. A propos of Jan and Mr. Kleiman's stories about the many resistance groups that have been popping up lately, Anne reflects on how selfless and generous Bep, Miep, Jan, Mr. Kleiman, and Mr. Kugler have been in assisting her family.
Anne's reflection on their generosity offers further evidence of her growing maturity – she is learning to be grateful for the people in her life in a way that she hadn't when she was younger.
January 30th. Anne goes downstairs in the dark and stares up at the sky. Seeing the German planes, she realizes that she's utterly alone – she doesn't feel afraid, however, given that she suddenly feels strong faith in God. She reflects that she has a strong desire to be alone.
This is the first time Anne connects gazing up at the sky with her connection to God. This is also the first time Anne has connected her feeling of isolation with a feeling of strength.
February 3rd. Rumors are flying about a potential Allied invasion of Holland. There's speculation that the Germans might destroy the dams and flood the Netherlands, and the Annex dwellers joke about what they might do to survive such a thing. Anne doesn't pay any heed to their speculations. "I've reached the point where I hardly care if I live or die," she writes.
Anne's jaded attitude toward the Allied invasion can be seen as part of being a teenager and as part of the effect confinement has had on her psyche.
February 12th. The sun is out, and Anne is full of longing for something she can't quite articulate. "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."
Even though there's a war going on and she's in confinement, Anne's feelings of adolescent anticipation and longing are too powerful to be stopped.
February 14th. Anne reveals 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 into rages. Peter admits that he admires how Anne handles confrontations. Anne is pleased to finally feel some of the fellowship with him—with anybody—that she used to experience with her girlfriends.
Interestingly, it's only now that Anne feels she has truly connected with Peter – their earlier conversation about sex evidently didn't alleviate her feelings of isolation. It's clear that Anne seeks an emotional connection, and she feels she's found a way to experience this with Peter.
February 16th. On Margot's birthday, 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 route to the attic) and he gives her a look that causes Anne to feel like she's glowing inside.
Anne seems to be in denial about wanting to see and spend time with Peter, even though she's clearly going out of her way to run into him. She also seems to be in denial about how she feels about him – in this scene, there's clearly a romantic connection.
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 to Christianity after the war, given that it will make his life easier. Anne is secretly dismayed by this touch of dishonesty in Peter's nature. Peter quickly adds that he feels the Jews are the chosen people. Later, after speaking with Peter again, Anne comes to realize that he needs affection just as she does. She also speculates that Peter has an inferiority complex.
Anne's romantic idealization of Peter butts heads with the real Peter (both inner and outer). While she's happy and relieved to be able to connect with Peter as a friend, she's a tad dismayed to discover that he's imperfect. She's disappointed in his "dishonesty," but can Peter really be blamed for wanting to (at least outwardly) give up his Jewish faith, given everything the Nazis have put them through?
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 with him.
Anne's relationship with Peter deepens. This relationship is teaching Anne about the differences between friendship and romantic love.
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 in passing, and this sends her spiraling into despair. She weeps in secret several times throughout the day, longing for Peter to comfort her. She worries that Peter doesn't need anyone to confide in.
Anne's mood swings and feelings of isolation are typical both of adolescence and of the beginning stages of romantic love. It seems like this is the first time Anne has really experienced these feelings; they consume and confuse her.
February 23rd. The weather is beautiful, and 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 the clear, blue sky. They exchange no words, but Anne feels perfectly at ease. "'As long as this exists,' I thought, ‘this sunshine and this cloudless sky…how can I be sad?'"
This is a pivotal moment in Anne and Peter's relationship. Anne realizes that she's able to connect with Peter without having to talk to him. In Anne's mind, they're both able to appreciate the beauty and joy of nature without having to talk about it.
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 their confinement, and that, like Peter, she longs for freedom. She writes that when she was with him that morning, she was happy, and she concludes that this happiness is greater than any riches.
Anne's romantic interest in Peter has led her to feel a level of responsibility toward him. She feels that, inside, he struggles with the same things she does, and she longs to help him carry his burdens.
February 27th. Anne confesses that she thinks of Peter all the time. She speculates that she and Peter are similar because "neither Peter nor I have a mother." She also speculates that Peter, like her, is struggling with his feelings. Anne wonders whether she and Peter will ever connect on a meaningful level. "I don't know how much longer I can keep this yearning under control," she writes.
Anne is clearly infatuated with Peter, and in her infatuation she assumes that she and Peter share many of the same qualities and struggles. In spite of this, she's able to realize that she and Peter still haven't truly connected as of yet. Anne's "yearning" can be seen as both sexual and emotional.
February 28th. Anne feels like her desire for Peter is a waking nightmare. She feels like she has to pretend to be her normal, cheerful self around the others, so as not to arouse suspicion. "Peter Schiff and Peter van Daan have melted into one Peter, who's good and kind and whom I long for desperately."
In a moment of surprising insight, Anne realizes that she's conflated the two Peters in her life. Anne again struggles with her outer and inner selves – she feels she must carefully hide her inner struggles, presumably to keep the peace.
March 1st. Another break-in sends the Annex into a panic. There's speculation that the burglar has a duplicate key, given that there are no signs of forced entry, and Anne fears that the burglar may return.
The worsening of the war outside has impacts inside the Annex, as burglaries are becoming more and more common as resources grow scarce.
March 2nd. Anne and Margot spend time in the attic together, discussing how aggravating their parents are. 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 is understanding someone, caring for him….This eventually includes physical love….Losing your virtue doesn't matter, as long as you know that…you'll have someone…who understands you…"
Interestingly, even though Anne insists that she seeks friendship, she can't find the companionship she seeks with her sister. It's clear that Anne is struggling to understand what she longs for, and that this is all part of her journey through adolescence. Anne's meditation on love can be seen as a way of defining her own individual relationship to love.
Anne sees Peter in the afternoon, and they talk about their parents. Peter admits that his parents fight all the time. Later, Peter asks Anne not to tell anyone about his parents (though, secretly, Anne has already told Margot). Anne suggests that Peter should go talk to Mr. Frank about his parents – she feels he might be able to help Peter with his problems.
It seems that Peter also longs to have someone to confide in. He reveals that his parents present a certain façade to the world (though, to be fair, Anne has seen them fight before). Anne is guilty of the same dishonesty she found so disappointing in Peter!
March 3rd. While staring into a candle flame, Anne imagines that she sees her grandmother. She feels that her grandmother 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 she's in love. Anne asks why should she be in love, and Peter replies, "Why not?"
Anne's visions of her grandmother give her the strength and courage to carry on in spite of the war. She's also bolstered by her growing feelings for Peter. Anne doesn't seem to be sure what it feels like to fall in love, though she imagines she may feel this way for Peter someday.
March 6th. Anne 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 doesn't mean it. Anne longs for Peter to let her help him.
Central to Anne's desire to connect with Peter, it seems, is her desire to help him. It may be that helping Peter is easier for Anne than dealing with her own problems.
March 7th. Anne looks back on her life in 1942, and can't believe how wonderful it was compared to her existence in the Annex: she was surrounded by friends and admirers; her teachers loved her; she was spoiled by her parents, etc. Anne wonders who she was back then compared to who she is now. "I look back at that Anne Frank as a pleasant, amusing, but superficial girl, who has nothing to do with me." Anne reflects that she now wants friends, not admirers.
Anne is comparing several selves in this passage. On the one hand, she's comparing her younger, pre-Annex self with her more mature, adolescent self. On the other hand, she's also comparing her inner self with her outer self – the outer self being the Anne who's surrounded by admirers, who's chatty and playful, etc.
Anne reflects that she's grown up in a lot of ways since 1942. She's discovered an "inner happiness" beneath her "superficial and 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 who suffer much worse fates, Anne asserts that her strategy for dealing with misery is to think about "all the beauty that remains….My advice is: ‘Go outside…enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer.'"
Anne continues to distinguish between her inner/outer, past/present selves. She also strives to distinguish her feelings and attitudes from those of her mother. While Anne's optimism can be seen as healthier than her mother's dour reminders about suffering, one might speculate that Anne's optimism is characteristic of her relative inexperience. (Her mother has experienced two World Wars, after all.)
March 10th. Miep has fallen sick, and Mr. Kleiman hasn't returned to work – Bep has been left on her own to take care of the office and the residents of the Secret Annex. Meanwhile, Mr. van Hoeven, the man who was supplying the Annex dwellers with potatoes, butter, and jam, has been arrested. Over supper, a mysterious knock on the wall leaves the Annex dwellers shaken to the core.
The tenuous nature of life in the Annex is again brought to the forefront with the (temporary) loss of several allies. Mr. van Hoeven's arrest is a wake-up call for Anne – it's the first time one of the Annex's benefactors has been punished for their illegal activities.
March 12th. Anne is unsure whether Peter really likes her or not, and she has grown melancholy. Anne worries that she's annoying Peter, and that she won't be able to keep up a "normal façade" in the face of her mood swings. Anne wonders when she'll find inner peace again.
Anne's preoccupation with Peter can be seen both as a symptom of heady, teenage love and as a symptom of the war – it's probably easier for her to focus on Peter than on the grim realities of WWII.
March 14th. Food supplies are growing short and the Annex dwellers are forced to eat pickled kale and mashed potatoes. The adults around her have varying responses to the food 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 that others are suffering far worse, Mr. Frank remains optimistic, and Mr. Dussel simply looks out for himself.
Anne continues to try to puzzle out the various selves of the adults around her. The fact that she pokes fun at the van Daans and Mr. Dussel shows that she's still limited in her understanding of those around her. For instance, can Mr. Dussel be blamed for looking out for himself, given that he probably feels like a lone wolf in the Annex? Can Mrs. van Daan be blamed for feeling self-pity, given the war?
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 herself when she's in the attic or writing letters to Kitty. Anne reflects on how she struggles to maintain an air of confidence while she experiences inner turmoil. She wonders whether Peter will be "the first and only person to see what's beneath [her] granite mask."
Interestingly, even though Anne longs for companionship and connection, she also (perhaps equally) longs for solitude. She again reflects on the person she shows to the world versus the person she hides away. Does Anne really have a "granite mask," though? She may show more of her inner self than she thinks.
Mach 17th. Anne chafes at her parents' attentions – she wants nothing more than for them to stop treating her like a child. She reflects that she no longer wishes to give them kisses throughout the day or call them cute nicknames. Anne remarks that she feels far more mature than other girls her age, and that she feels much more independent.
Although the close quarters of the Annex are certainly exacerbating these feelings, Anne's desire to get space from her parents is typical of adolescent experience. Anne's feelings of superior maturity may or may not be accurate, given that she's biased!
March 18th. Anne meditates on sex. She wonders why parents don't have honest discussions with their children about sexual matters. "If mothers don't tell their children everything, they hear it in bits and pieces, and that can't be right." She also scoffs at the idea that men shouldn't have premarital sex.
Anne continues to sort out her ideas about love and sex. In a typically adolescent fashion, Anne (rightly enough) questions the powers that be regarding sex education. She challenges the status quo with her musings on premarital sex.
March 19th. Anne and Peter retreat to the attic in the evening, where in the fading light of an open window they have a whispered heart-to-heart conversation. They discuss their parents, how Anne has been so miserable, how Peter "goes up to the loft and swears," etc. They also discuss how they've grown up in the past two years. Peter admits that he feels Anne is a great help to him, simply because she's cheerful. "Oh, Kitty, he was just as I thought he would be," she writes. She is left with the feeling that she and Peter "share a secret."
This is a pivotal moment in Anne and Peter's relationship. In this passage, Anne feels like she truly connects with Peter, and that she's able to reveal her inner self to him. In turn, Anne feels that Peter has revealed his inner self to her. These feelings are all part of teenage experience, and part of Anne's exploration of what it means to be in love.
March 20th. Anne worries that Margot likes Peter, and that this will be a source of friction between them. Margot replies that she isn't upset about their friendship – she only wishes that she could have someone to confide in, too.
Anne might not have worried about Margot's feelings if it weren't for the close quarters of the Annex. Anne learns that Margot, too, harbors a secret desire to confide in someone – she, too, feels isolated.
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 what he'll be like when he grows up.") Anne feels confident that Peter loves her. She is happy that he's discovered that she isn't the "superficial, worldly Anne" she appears to be, but "a dreamer, like he is...."
How quickly Anne has changed her mind about whether she loves Peter! (It's been a little over a month since she first sought to confide in him.) Anne takes great comfort in knowing that someone in the world understands that Anne has an inner self.
March 23rd. A plane crashes near the 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. Later, Peter worries that Anne was laughing about the conversation behind his back. Anne assures him that she wasn't.
In some ways, for Anne the drama of WWII seems to hold the same weight and import as the dramas taking place within the confines of the Annex. And that makes sense—this is Anne's life, and the "small" things in life don't stop just because there are also major historical events going on. Anne and Peter continue teaching each other about human sexuality. Peter reveals his insecure inner self after this conversation.
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 Peter knows what girls look like "down there." Anne talks about how she came to find out about the different parts of female genitalia, and then she goes on to offer a vivid description of what girls look like "down there."
This is yet another controversial passage in Anne's diary, given how unabashed it is in its description of female genitalia. This is again an instance of Anne both wanting to connect with and to help Peter.
March 25th. "You never realize how much you've changed until after it's happened," Anne writes. She reflects on how she's changed, and how she's learned to navigate the various quarrels and arguments that arise in the Annex. She ends her entry with the hope that she'll continue to change for the better – especially now that she has Peter to help her.
Anne has clearly grown far more mature in the nearly two years that she's been writing her diary. She seems to liken her relationship to Peter to a marriage – she believes that her relationship with him will help her change for the better.
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 Margot and Anne up to the attic, and Mr. Frank says that Anne shouldn't worry about whether Mrs. van Daan is jealous. Anne wishes the adults would just stay out of her business.
While the adults in the Annex initially seemed amused by Anne and Peter's relationship, they now seem to be taking it more seriously (and personally). For her part, Anne has the typically teenage desire to just be left to her own devices.
March 29th. Anne learns from the radio that the Dutch Cabinet Minister wishes to create an archive of diaries and letters written during the war. Anne's imagination is on fire with the idea that her diary might be published one day. Anne realizes that there's still so much about the war that she hasn't written about: the food shortages, the lootings, the air raids, etc.
This is the catalyst that spurs Anne to revise her diaries (which is why they're so polished!) and to take her writing more seriously. Anne seems to have no doubt here that she'll survive the war.
March 31st. Anne breathlessly reports that the Russians have reached the Polish border in Romania. She speculates that the million Jews living in German-occupied Hungary are all doomed. It's Mr. van Daan's birthday, and he's showered with 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 about menstruation.
Possibly spurred by the idea that her diary might one day be published, Anne spends more time than usual reporting on the war. The Annex's residents continue to observe birthdays, finding comfort in the ritual of giving. Anne continues to want to help Peter; this time, her help comes in the form of a lesson in sex education.
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, and in order to do this she must continue her studies. She considers her diary and the few stories she's written thus far and wonders whether they have any talent. She resolves to throw herself into her writing.
Anne's decision to shift her attention away from Peter is quite sudden, and it's not quite clear what exactly spurs this decision. It may be that Anne discovered that her passion in life is writing, not loving Peter. This is part of Anne's continued journey through adolescence, and her exploration of her inner self.
April 11th. Peter alerts Mr. Frank to a break-in at the warehouse. Anne and the other denizens of the Annex are in too much of a hurry to panic – they rush to douse the lights and hide. After an extremely tense night (during which time the Annex dwellers are convinced that they'll have to hide in silence for two days), Jan and Miep arrive and tell them that the danger has passed.
Another burglary – this one being by far the most serious to occur in the Opekta building – drives home the idea that the Secret Annex is always a hair's breadth away from being discovered. The grim realities of war are again thrust upon the Annex's residents.
Everyone in the Annex is warned to be far more cautious as a result of the break-in. They're reminded that they're "Jews in chains." Anne hopes that one day she and her family will "be people again, and not just Jews!" Anne optimistically believes that God will lift them out of this crisis, and she hopes that maybe in the end the world will learn something about goodness from the Jews' suffering in the war. "We can never be just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well," she writes. "And we'll have to keep on being Jews, but then, we'll want to be."
The generosity of the Annex's Christian allies is put to the test with the most recent break-in - it becomes clear that they're in danger just as much as the Jews residing in the Annex, and the fear of imprisonment drives them to use fairly blunt language. The episode forces Anne to consider her Jewish identity—the way that it will stick with her no matter what. Yet her optimism shines through as she hopes that the Jews' suffering will turn out to provide an education in goodness to the world. Anne sees her own suffering now not just in terms of its impact on her but its connection to the world, though her belief in that suffering changing the world is idealistic and somewhat self-aggrandizing. And yet, one can argue that the publication of Anne's diary has done precisely as Anne hopes here, providing an education of sorts to its readers.
Anne reflects that she was ready to die the night of the break-in. She feels that she's becoming more independent and courageous every day, and she harbors great dreams for what she might accomplish in the future. "If God lets me live, I'll achieve more than Mother ever did," she writes.
Anne's feminism and ambition shines through in the final months of her diary. Her rebelliousness and independence are part of being a teenager; they also seem to indicate that Anne will never be willing to settle for the life of a homemaker.
April 14th. Tensions are again running high, thanks to the break-in. Anne, however, feels that things aren't as bad as they seem. "Here in the Annex, no one even bothers to set a good example. We each have to figure out how to get the better of our own moods!"
Anne finds herself feeling more mature than the grown ups in this passage. She feels that others in the house should govern their outer selves the way she does, in an effort to keep the peace.
April 15th. Peter is careless and leaves the warehouse door locked. Mr. Kugler is forced to smash a window to get in, and the warehouse employees spot open windows in the Secret Annex. Mr. Kugler is infuriated, and Peter is deeply ashamed.
Mr. Kugler's generosity is seriously put to the test. His selfish anger can't be blamed – Peter's carelessness has put them all in danger. Presumably, Mr. van Maaren has witnessed the open windows.
April 16th. Anne reports that Peter has kissed her – she and Peter were cuddling in the attic the day before, and when she was on her way downstairs he kissed her near her ear.
Anne's very excited about her "first kiss," even if she doesn't feel as close to Peter as she once did.
April 17th. Anne and Peter continue to cuddle and kiss, and Anne is in raptures. "Why should we stay apart when we love each other? Why shouldn't we kiss each other in times like these?" Anne argues that kissing Peter is harmless, and that she should follow her heart. Anne does wonder, though, whether she should tell her father about what she's doing.
Anne's feelings of isolation and her hidden fears about the war are eased by her time with Peter. The fact that they've become physical with each other, however, has given Anne pause. Is she as independent as she thinks? Does she have to tell her father?
April 18th. Anne and Peter have a discussion about female sex organs (Peter has no clue what female anatomy is like), and they nearly kiss on the mouth when they say goodnight. Spring has arrived, and Bep brings flowers to the Annex. Mr. Kugler brings them newspapers.
Anne and Peter continue to learn about love and sex from one another. Tensions seem to have eased, and the Annex's allies return to their gestures of friendliness and generosity.
April 25th. Mr. Dussel is in a huff due to the new security measures in the Annex, which now prevent him from propping a window open at night.
Anne continues to judge Mr. Dussel's character harshly – though he does seem objectively petty here!
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 come close to this feeling with Peter, in a moment where "everyday Anne slipped away and the second Anne took her place….who's never overconfident or amusing, but wants only to love and be gentle." Anne wonders whether Peter knew that he had "two Annes" at his side that night. While she was "still Anne number two," she kisses Peter on the lips. Anne is filled with rapture. Anne wrestles with whether it's right for her to feel so much passion. She's also shocked that Peter was able to conjure up a part of her that rarely makes an appearance. Anne is filled with dizzying questions.
The conflation of Peter Schiff with Peter van Daan seems to have ended – the two have again resumed their separate identities in Anne's mind. Anne feels like she reached a new level of closeness with Peter when he kisses her on the mouth – she feels like her outer self slips away almost completely, leaving her inner self in Peter's arms. Even though Anne has previously written that physical love can't be wrong, she still struggles with guilt about her passionate feelings for Peter.
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 relationship, citing the close quarters of the Annex. Anne and Peter swear to each other that they'll work hard to keep themselves under control.
It's seems like Mr. Frank is torn about Anne's relationship with Peter – it seems like he understands that the relationship brings them comfort, but he also knows that tensions in the Annex can run high and a romantic break-up is the last thing they need.
May 3rd. Anne speculates on the cause of war – what's the point of it? Why can't people live in peace? Anne argues that war isn't just the work of politicians and capitalists, but also the work of common people. She speculates that there's a "destructive urge…an urge to rage, murder and kill" in all people. She believes humanity will have to undergo a metamorphosis before war can be eradicated. Anne goes on to meditate on her future – she feels like she has many hidden qualities, and that life is a grand adventure. She feels herself maturing, and feels that the war will soon be over. "With all that, why should I despair?"
Although Anne seems to ultimately believe that people are innately good, her beliefs are complicated in this passage, given that she admits people seem to have a "destructive urge." In spite of all she's been through (and perhaps because she's been sheltered from much of the horrors of the Holocaust), Anne still feels that the war is an adventure. That sheltering might also explain why her sense of maturing is still connected to a sense of optimism about the war's end, as such optimism may not be warranted.
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 she was having problems "everyone – and that includes you – closed their eyes and ears and didn't help me." She now feels that she's independent, and capable of making her own decisions. Anne closes the letter by demanding that her father leave her alone, and that she be allowed to do as she pleases.
Anne's letter to her father is essentially a kind of declaration of independence. What Anne doesn't realize is that she's falling prey to the same selfishness that she condemns in others. At this point, she incapable of seeing her father's point of view.
May 7th. Mr. Frank is deeply hurt by Anne's letter, and the two have a tearful heart-to-heart. Anne realizes that she was cruel to write such a letter to her father. She feels deeply ashamed of herself, and vows to continue to improve herself, using her father as an example.
Part of Anne's journey through adolescence involves understanding when she's been wrong. Her ability to admit that she has character defects shows how mature she's become.
May 8th. Anne writes about her father's upbringing – he was born into a wealthy family, and attended all kinds of parties. Her mother, too, was born into a well-to-do family. Anne hopes that, after the war, she'll be able to enjoy some of the glamour her parents experienced – "I want to see the world and do all kinds of exciting things, and a little money won't hurt!"
In spite of the war, Anne still harbors the hope that she'll be able to enjoy all the things her parents enjoyed. It's a kind of greed, but it isn't necessarily bad – it's dreams like these that help Anne survive the confinement of life in the Annex.
May 11th. Anne dreams of the future. In addition to her studies, Anne has been working hard on her stories. She states that after the war she'd like to publish a book based on her diary called The Secret Annex.
Anne continues to cultivate her inner self through her writing. She continues to work on becoming the grown up she aspires to be.
May 19th. Anne and Peter continue their romance, though Anne has decided to shut him out from her "inner self." Anne marvels at Peter's desire for tenderness – he blushes every time they kiss.
It's not clear why Anne feels the need to shut Peter out from her inner self. Is she frightened by intimacy? Is she simply disappointed in Peter? It's not clear.
May 22nd. Mr. Frank loses a bet against Mrs. van Daan regarding the Allied invasion – he had speculated that it would have happened by now. Anne contemplates on England's involvement in the war, and argues that England isn't acting selflessly. There's a rumor that anti-Semitism is growing in Holland among those who oppose the Nazis, and Anne wonders why the war is even being waged. She scoffs at the idea that it's being waged for "freedom, truth, and justice," given the sudden rise in anti-Semitism among the Allies. Anne declares that she loves Holland, and she hopes that it won't reject her once the war is over.
The question of whether the Allies can ever act in a selfless way calls into question, on a local level, whether the Annex's allies' actions are completely selfless. (Which, to be honest, they aren't – Mr. Kugler, Mr. Kleiman, Bep, Miep, and Jan all benefit from the Annex's food stores, for example.) The growing anti-Semitism in Holland comes as a shock to the Annex, and it's likely that they secretly wonder whether their allies can be trusted.
May 25th. Anne and her family are shocked to learn that, after being released from his first imprisonment, Mr. van Hoeven has been arrested for harboring two Jews. "The world's been turned upside down," Anne writes. "The most decent people are being sent to concentration camps…while the lowest of the low rule over the young and old, rich and poor."
Mr. van Hoeven's second (and presumably final) arrest comes as a serious blow to Anne, especially given that he was arrested for hiding Jews. Will their own allies be arrested in the same way? Are they all doomed to be caught by the Nazis?
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 taking its toll on her psyche. Anne marvels at how one day everyone can be "laughing at the comical side of hiding" and the next day everyone is filled with abject terror at the arrest of Mr. van Hoeven. Anne is grateful for their Christian allies. Miep has assured Mr. Frank that they haven't been "infected with the current anti-Semitism."
While it's assumed that Anne is doing her best to hide her feelings, it seems like the latest string of incidents have left her with few resources to hide her inner self. Anne observes that war has made their lives absurd, almost bipolar – one minute they're in terror, the next they're laughing.
Anne wonders whether it wouldn't have been better if, instead of going into hiding, they had just died. Anne speculates that this would have saved Miep and their friends a lot of trouble. Anne dismisses this thought, clinging to the fact that she and her family "love life…and we keep hoping, hoping for…everything." She hopes, though, that an end will come to their anxiety – either through death, or through the Allied invasion.
Given that she's been in hiding for about two years at this point, it's natural that Anne should long for some kind of end to their confinement and suspense, even if that end means death. She now realizes the true gravity of their allies' situation – her beloved Miep could very well be the next person to be arrested.
June 5th. The adults in the Annex are quarreling again. Mr. Dussel disagrees with the Franks over the division of butter, and the van Daans are quibbling over baking a spice cake for Mr. Kugler's birthday. "All very petty," Anne observes. Money and food are running low.
As the quarreling continues, it seems as if it's easier for the adults in the Annex to quarrel over butter than it is for them to face the grim realities of war. Petty things become an outlet for their feelings of terror and frustration.
June 6th. D-Day. The Allies have invaded, and the Annex is in an uproar. Will they be liberated from the Nazis? Anne is filled with optimism. She has hopes that she'll return to school in the fall.
D-Day seems to arrive just at the moment the residents of the Annex need hope the most. Anne clings to the hope that she can return to a normal life.
June 13th. Anne has celebrated her 15th birthday, and is showered with a surprising number of gifts. She meditates on her personality: why does everyone think she's arrogant? Anne feels misunderstood; she still 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…." Anne feels that Peter is hiding his "innermost self" from her.
Perhaps spurred by the hope of the Allied invasion, Anne's birthday is celebrated with a surplus of good cheer and optimism. Anne, however, still feels dissatisfied. She craves (perhaps greedily) more closeness from Peter. She still feels isolated, and imagines that he's keeping some part of himself from her.
Anne considers her infatuation with nature. She feels that gazing out the window at "the sky, the clouds, the moon, and the stars" does more for her than "valerian or bromide."
Paradoxically, even though Anne craves intimacy, she seems to find all the comfort she needs in her time alone with nature.
Anne then turns her thoughts to the patriarchy: why do men dominate women? (Her thoughts are guided by a book she's recently read: Soldiers on the Home Front.) Anne feels that women should have equal footing with men. She posits that women suffer more pain in childbirth than men do in battle. She condemns "our system of values and the men who don't acknowledge how great…women's share in society is."
Given her thoughts on childbirth vs. battle, Anne's thoughts on the patriarchy might be spurred by the (admittedly masculine) war going on around her. Anne's feminist ideas support her dreams of the person she hopes to become one day: an independent woman of the world, a journalist and a writer.
June 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.
Mrs. van Daan's inner turmoil is rising to the surface. Although Anne doesn't make this connection, it's clear that she suffers from many of the same insecurities that her son seems to have.
July 6th. 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 himself for the better. Anne's also worried that Peter is relying too heavily on her. "It's hard enough standing on your own two feet," she writes. Anne wonders whether Peter will ever improve his character. Anne reasons that everyone would be better off if, at the end of the day, they would "review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs."
Anne's thoughts on Peter's character are simultaneously insightful and selfish. On the one hand, her intentions are clearly good – she just wants to help him. On the other hand, it seems like she wants to help him (and change him) so she can be more satisfied with his companionship. In spite of this, Anne's devotion to examining her own character shows how mature she's grown.
July 15th. In response to a book she's just read (What Do You Think of the Modern Young Girl?), Anne considers her own character. Anne proclaims that she has a good deal of self-knowledge – she feels that she can view herself objectively and assess her strengths and weaknesses. In response to a chapter called "Father and Mother Don't Understand Me," Anne explores her own feelings of isolation, particularly her alienation from her parents. Anne feels that her father needed to treat her as an individual, rather than as a generic teenager. "I've hid anything having to do with me from Father…[and] deliberately alienated myself from him."
Anne's attitude toward and relationship with her father has clearly evolved as she's entered adolescence. She began her diary practically worshipping the ground he walked on, but now (two years later) she views him with a bit more distance and skepticism. Anne still loves her father very much – she has just come to realize that their relationship isn't as intimate as she once believed it was.
Anne then turns her thoughts to Peter. She speculates that she became intimate with him before she realized that she could never truly confide in him, and as a result Peter now clings to her while Anne is drifting away.
As Anne's interest in Peter cools, she's able to view their relationship with more objectivity.
Anne concludes that life is far more difficult for the young, given that young people don't have a strong sense of who they are. Anne 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 to be crushed by grim reality." In spite of all of this, Anne still clings to the hope that people are innately good, that her dreams are within reach, and that peace will prevail.
Anne's assertion that the war is harder on the young holds some truth. Anne neglects to see, though, that the adults around her may not have as strong a sense of themselves as she might think they do – they, too, harbor ideals, dreams, and hopes, and they, too, are crushed by the grim reality of war. Anne's optimism, while appealing, can also be seen as evidence of her youth and innocence – unlike her parents, she hasn't lived through two World Wars.
July 21st. Anne is feeling very optimistic; she's learned that an assassination attempt has been made on Hitler's life.
The assassination attempt of Hitler seems like the ultimate indication that the war will soon end – if those closest to Hitler can't protect him, how much longer can the war really last?
August 1st. "What does ‘contradiction' mean?" Anne asks. Anne uses this question as a springboard for a meditation on her own personality. She feels that she's "split in two." One half of Anne is spunky, flip, chatty and wild. The other half of her is "better and finer" – a "deeper," more quiet Anne. Anne feels that she can only be quiet Anne when she's by herself. She wonders whether she might be able to someday live life as quiet Anne without criticism from her friends and family. "…I keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be…if only there were no other people in the world."
Anne's feeling that she's split in two might be exaggerated given the close quarters of the Annex. If she had more time to herself, and if she didn't have to closely regulate her outer self (for fear of upsetting those around her in the Annex), she might feel like the second Anne were more a part of her life. Anne is ultimately unsure whether she can attain her ideal of living with her inner self on the outside. Anne clearly did not anticipate this entry being the final entry in her diary—she had no way of knowing that the Annex would be betrayed when it was. This makes Anne's statement that she could truly be herself if there were just no other people in the world especially poignant and ironic. Anne was referring to the people in the Annex with her, but of course her life is even more constrained, and ultimately ended, by those ruling outside of the Annex – the Nazis.