The Diary of a Young Girl

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Online free notes for the chapter The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), which is a part of the syllabus of class 10 Alternative English under Nagaland Board of School Education.

Introduction of The Diary of a Young Girl: World War II was the most destructive war in history. More than fifty nations took part in the War. On one side were the Axis Powers, including Germany, Italy and Japan. On the other side were the Allies. They included Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Soviet Union, China and the United States of America.

World War II was a very dark period in the history of the world. Adolf Hitler rose to power as the Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and was intent on ridding Europe of Jewish people. He established many anti-Jewish laws which made life harsh and dangerous for Jews in Germany. Anne Frank and her family, who had considered Germany their home for centuries, were forced to leave and start a new life in the Netherlands (Holland). The Franks settled into their new life comfortably. They felt free and safe again. But this peace was to last them only a few more years

The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
A page of Anne Frank’s diary and a sample of her handwriting. (Image source: Wikimedia)

In 1940, Hitler attacked the Netherlands and his Nazi party took control of the country. The Franks knew they were no longer safe. Imprisonment and death would become their reality soon if they did not act fast. They had to escape. The Nazis had closed the way in and out of the country, so the Franks decided to hide in a secret flat in Mr Frank’s office building in Amsterdam. In 1942, the Franks shifted into their hiding place- the ‘secret Annex’. Life in hiding was filled with many difficulties.

Sensitive and intelligent, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank started recording her daily experiences, thoughts and emotions in a diary. It was the closest friend she had in the two years she spent in hiding. As she wrote, Anne realised she wanted to become an author when she grew up; her experiences in hiding would make for a great novel. Sadly, Anne did not live to see her dream come true. ln 1945, when Anne was fifteen, someone betrayed the Franks and they were all arrested. Anne Frank died in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the only one to survive the war. He published her diary in 1947. He wanted the world to know and love Anne as an ordinary girl living in extraordinary circumstances.

Choose the best option.

1. Why was the radio so important to the residents in the Annex?

Answer: d. News on the war gave them courage and hope for freedom from persecution and hiding.

2. How did writing in a diary help Anne through her years in hiding?

Answer: c. The diary was the one place where Anne could completely be herself; expressing her thoughts on everything helped her grow as a person.

3. Before the Franks went into hiding, they, like all Jews, had to live with a lot of restrictions on their freedom. What purpose did these restrictions serve?

Answer: b. They stripped the Jews of their rights as citizens.

4. Why did the Franks dress in a lot of clothes when they left for the Annex?

Answer: d. It would look as though they were escaping if they carried suitcases.

5. Why do you think Anne’s diary become so iconic?

Answer: b. The diary was an honest account of the suffering of Jews during World War II.

6. Do you think the diary is an accurate portrayal of all the residents of the Secret Annex?

Answer: c. The representation of the other residents included Anne’s biases and prejudices against them.

7. We can never be just Dutch, or just English-we will always be Jews as well. What does this line tell you?

Answer: b. By persecuting Jews from all across Europe, the Nazis had set the Jews apart from the non-Jews in their respective countries.

8. I’m split into two different people. The issue Anne explores in her last diary entry is one of___

Answer: d. Identity

9. How did Anne feel when she saw Jews outside on the streets, being marched to concentration camps?

Answer: c. Guilty that she was fortunate to live in hiding.

10. I don’t believe war is simply the work of politicians. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty. In this diary entry, according to Anne, what is the common man guilty of?

Answer: d. Spending on war instead of education and health.

Short answers:

1. Why do you think Mr Keesing chose the topic ‘A Chatterbox’ for Anne’s homework? (Sunday, 21 July 1942)

Answer: Mr Keesing chose the topic ‘A Chatterbox’ for Anne’s homework because he often got mad at her because she used to talk very much.

2. Why was father angry? (Wednesday, 1 July 1942)

Answer: Anne’s father was angry because she and Harry had gone out for a walk and didn’t get back until ten past eight and it was dangerous for Jews to be out after eight o’clock.

3. Which two incidents from the diary entries of Wednesday, 24 June and Sunday, 5 July 1942 show the kind of difficulties the Jewish people were facing?

Answer: The two incidents from the diary entries that show the kind of difficulties the Jewish people were facing were that the Jews were no more allowed to use public transport and had to walk everywhere and thus Anne had to walk very far to get to the dentist. Anne’s father was not allowed to work in his office anymore and he told Anne about going into hiding to save their lives.

4. What was the strange thing about bathing in the Secret Annex? (Tuesday, 29 September 1942)

Answer: The strange thing about bathing in the Secret Annex was that they didn’t have a bathroom and therefore used to take water away to different places to wash.

5. What is the difference between Anne’s mother and father, according to Anne? (Sunday, 27 September 1942)

Answer: According to Anne, her father understands her very much, unlike her mother whom she cannot stand at times and Anne is a stranger to her.

6. How do the residents of the Annex manage to get their food? (Monday,9 November 1942)

Answer: The residents of Annex would get bread from the baker friend of Mr Koophuis. They also purchase ration books on the black market. Aside from the hundred cans of food they had stored, they also bought three hundred pounds of beans.

7. The prospectus shows the sense of humour of the inmates and their opinions on the German invasion. Discuss. (Tuesday, 17 November 1942)

Answer: The prospectus showed the sense of humour of the inmates and their opinions on the German invasion. Though the inmates were living in constant fear of being seized by the Nazis, the tone of the prospectus was of lighter mode. They did not have a proper place to take bath, which instead of being something they should be complaining about, they accepted and referred to it in a humorous manner. The prospectus also tried to tone down the magnitude of the threat they were facing by providing distracting feel good descriptions about the place and the way they should live. The inmates particularly despised the German invasion with such an extent that there were strict rules that no one should be listening to the news on German radio or speak in German.

8. What do they get to know from Mr Dussel about the world outside? (Thursday, 19 November 1942)

Answer: Mr Dussel told them that countless people have been taken off to a dreadful fate. Night after night, green and grey military vehicles would cruise the streets. They would knock on every door asking whether any Jews lived there. If so, the whole family would be immediately taken away. If not, they would proceed to the next house.

9. What little cheer does Christmas bring to the residents? (Tuesday, 22 December 1942)

Answer: The Annex was delighted to hear that they would all be receiving an extra quarter pound of butter for Christmas. Each of them was going to bake something with the butter.

10. Describe briefly the scene outside the Secret Annex. (Wednesday, 13 January 1943)

Answer: Outside Annex, terrible things were happening. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people were being dragged out of their homes. They were allowed to take only a small bag and a little cash with them, and even then, they’d be robbed of these possessions on the way. Families are torn apart- men, women and children are separated. Everyone was scared. Every night hundreds of planes flew over Holland to drop bombs on German cities. The world was at war. The children in her neighbourhood run around in thin shirts and wooden shoes. They had no one to help them. Things had gotten so bad that they stop passersby in the streets to beg for a piece of bread.

11. Discuss how the living conditions of the residents of the Annex had deteriorated. Also, mention how it affected their mood and behaviour. (Tuesday, 27 April 1943)

Answer: The conditions of the residents of Annex was deteriorating as the situation had grown very tense due to increased bombings on German cities. Also, the food was also terrible. Breakfast consisted of plain, unbuttered bread and coffee. For the previous two weeks, they had been eating vegetables that had a rotten taste.

All these affected their mood and behaviour adversely as they were quarrelling with each other and everyone was mad at everyone else.

12. How important is a radio to the people in Holland? Why don’t the authorities allow a radio? (Tuesday, 15 June 1943)

Answer: The radio was important to the people of Holland and the resident in the Annex because news on the war kept them updated about the events unfolding and keep them not lose their hearts.

The authorities didn’t allow a radio because of the contents that might be broadcasted through them.

13. What is the good news about the war and what is the bad news about Mr Koophuis’ health? (Friday, 10 September 1943)

Answer: The good news about the war was that there was an announcement on the radio that Italy was out of the war.

The bad news about Mr Koophuis’ health was that he had to go to the hospital for a very difficult operation in his stomach and would have to stay there for at least four weeks.

14. What was Anne ashamed about when she read the pages of her diary? (Sunday, 2 January 1944)

Answer: Anne was ashamed of her treatment towards her mother. She understood that she saw things only from her point of view without thinking about how she might have hurt others.

15. Anne is maturing both physically and emotionally. Elaborate on this statement. (Thursday, 6 January 1944)

Answer: Anne where’s maturing both physically and emotionally. Physically, she had only lately started to get her periods, which according to her, was a wonderful feeling. Emotionally, she understood the need of someone to talk to and be friends with without being in love in the first place. She was realising the importance of human intimacy. In her quest to find someone to talk to, she visited Peter in the attic and had decided to do it again.

16. What are the changes in the relationship between the people in the Annex? (Saturday, 15 January 1944)

Answer: The people in the Annex were sharing food differently now. Each family had their own stores of meats and oils, and cooked their own potatoes. They were fighting amongst themselves and Anne’s mother wished to not see Mr van Daan’s face for two whole weeks.

17. What do you think – do all people who share space and resources begin to hate each other? Why or why not? (Saturday, 15 January 1944)

Answer: No, not all people who share space and resources begin to hate each other.

People fight when they have disagreements over things. When people live together they are sure to have disagreements but these disagreements should be discussed and sorted out without hating each other. When people share space and resources, there would be circumstances that could lead to hate, but it should not necessarily lead to hate as long as people tried to be empathetic towards each other.

18. What do you think Anne is feeling, after reading her reaction to the conversation around her? (Thursday, 3 February 1944)

Answer: After reading her reaction to the conversation around her, I think she had grown indifferent after all that she and everyone had to go through and living in constant fear. She had become emotionally stable and did not care anymore whether she lived or not. According to her, the world will continue to exist without her and all she would do was to concentrate on her studies and hope that everything would not right.

19. What are the reasons that make Anne feel that Peter needs to feel loved? (Wednesday, 16 February 1944)

Answer: Peter did not have someone who could show him affection. Therefore, he would spend his time looking at the picture of the movie star that Anne had given him and had started to think of the person in the picture as his friend. Another sign that he was internally lonely was that he would always hug Mouschi the cat so very tightly.

20. What do the children see from the attic? How does it make them feel? (Wednesday, 23 February 1944)

Answer: The children sat down on the floor and looked out at the blue sky, the trees, and the birds. It was so beautiful that they could not speak.

It made them very happy despite how frightened they were of the events. Anne believed that the best remedy for those who were frightened, lonely, or unhappy was to go outside and be alone with nature.

21. What are the similarities between Anne and Peter? Do you think these reasons contribute to them becoming closer? (Sunday, 27 February 1944)

Answer: Anne and Peter both had very strong feelings that couldn’t be controlled. Also, neither of them had a mother.

Yes, the similarities between them contributed to them being closer as they enjoyed each others’ company due to their similarities.

22. What caused the residents to be nervous? (Friday, 10 March 1944)

Answer: The blooming of guns and the constant fear of planes and shooting caused the residents to be nervous.

23. Who is Mr M? What has happened to him? (Tuesday, 14 March 1944)

Answer: Mr M was the man who used to sell them potatoes, butter and jam on the black market. He had been arrested.

24. How are the residents affected by the arrests of their helpers? (Tuesday, 14 March 1944)

Answer: The arrests of their helpers left the residents with no fats and oils. The food was miserable and lunch consisted of mashed potatoes and some smelly, rotting vegetables.

25. How do you think Anne helps Peter by being cheerful? Why is this important? (Sunday, 19 March 1944)

Answer: Anne helped Peter by being cheerful as this provided him with some necessary distractions from the gloomy circumstances in which they were living. This was important because they had been living in hiding for four years now and life was already a sad reality for them. Her cheerfulness, perhaps, was one of the few reasons to be glad about and used to give a hope in the darkest of times.

26. How has Anne and Peter’s relationship changed from 1942 to now? (Wednesday,22 March 1944)

Answer: In 1942, when Peter came to Annex, Anne would not find him interesting and described him in the diary as someone who was obnoxious, shy, and awkward. Peter, on the other hand, thought of her as a noisy pest. But as days passed, they realised that they have much in common among themselves and developed attractions for each other and became great friends. They would talk for long hours and it was passed on as a joke that if both of them stayed long enough in Annex, they would get married.

27. How does it help the residents of the Annex that the black market ration book men are out of prison? (Thursday,23 March 1944)

Answer: With the release of the black market ration book men from prison, the residents started to get their food requirements met and things started to get back to normal.

28. What are the difficulties that people have to face during a war? (Wednesday, 29 March 1944)

Answer: During war, essential goods become scarce. People have to stand in line to buy vegetables and all kinds of goods. Doctors can’t visit their patients. People don’t dare to leave their house for even five minutes because everything may be stolen. The men are sent off to fight in wars, the children are sick or undernourished, and poverty becomes common.

29. What is the tone of this entry- is Anne angry, sad or matter-of-fact? Why? (Wednesday,29 March 1944)

Answer: Anne was sad. She was a thoughtful child and all the realities that she mentioned in the entry are heartbreaking and yet, she noted them down as matter-of-fact, toning down the self-pitying.

30. Why do you think the residents of the Secret Annex continued to celebrate birthdays even in hiding? (Friday, 31 March 1944)

Answer: I think the residents of the Secret Annex celebrated birthdays to lighten the gloomy atmosphere in which they were living. The celebrations would provide them with the necessary distractions.

31. Have Anne’s feelings about being in hiding changed? How and why? (Friday, 31 March 1944)

Answer: Anne’s feeling about being in hiding changed from a pessimistic perspective to an optimistic note. The transition was perhaps the combined effect of the realisation that they were still better off compared to the jews of other places and because of the fact that she has discovered a great friend in Peter.

32. What are the two rare moments of excitement about food for the residents? (Monday, 3 April 1944)

Answer: The two rare moments of excitement about food for the residents are when soup and little packages of other things that make lunch more interesting and when they get a piece of sausage and jam with bread.

33. How is life in the outside world? Do you think the people inside the Annex had a better life? (Saturday, 6 May 1944)

Answer: Life in the outside is miserable and frightening. Everything is expensive and everyone is buying and selling on the black market. Murders and thefts take place daily. Everyone wants to put food in their stomachs, but don’t have enough money to do it.

Though living in hiding is not a good life, still, they have food and little safety, thus they are having a better life inside the Annex.

34. Do you think people’s perception of the Jews is right? What reasons could cause them to think like that? (Monday, 22 May 1944)

Answer: No, people’s perception of Jews was not right. The propaganda run by Nazi Germany and perhaps, the persecution of many Christians for helping the Jews could have caused them to think like that.

35. What are Anne’s feelings when the invasion finally takes place? (Tuesday, 6 June 1944)

Answer: Anne is elated by the news of the invasion. She is thinking this would end the war, and they would be freed and she would be back to school soon.

36. What does Anne describe as being ‘the best medicine’? Why? (Tuesday, 13 June 1944)

Answer: Anne describes nature as being the best medicine. She says so because looking at the sky, the clouds, the moon and the stars makes her feel calm and hopeful. It makes her feel humble and ready to face everything with courage.

37. Who are the two Annes? (Tuesday, 1 August 1944)

Answer: The two Anne’s are the two different personalities that Anne thinks lives with her. One side is cheerful, appreciates the lighter side of things and enjoys a rude joke or a kiss. The second Anne is never overconfident or amusing but wants only to love and be gentle.

Long Answers

1. Anne calls her diary ‘the nicest present’ that she had received on her thirteenth birthday. How did the diary prove to be a true friend to the sensitive teenager?

Answer: Anne Frank had been living in a secret hiding place called ‘Secret Annex’ and was often isolated as she had no real friends. But, with the arrival of the diary as a gift on her 13th birthday, she was able to fill the vacuum. She poured out her heart to her diary and it became an outlet for her emotions. She was able to come in terms with her suffocating life In hiding. More than that she matured as a writer and was able to deal with growing up issues in her life. All the more, she matured as a person.

2. Why does Anne think that she will be a strong person one day? Explain your answer with examples.

Answer: Anne Frank experienced years of suffering while living in hiding which she termed as an adventure. Despite all the shortcomings, she was able to maintain an optimistic outlook and continued to hope that someday the war would be over and things will get better. She believed that she would emerge as a better and stronger person one day because of all the things she had gone through. The instances in her life experiences such as the attempted robbery on April 11, 1944, her relationship with Peter and her mother, living a life with so many shortcomings, terrible food and living conditions were all the experiences that taught her lessons in life.

3. Comment on Anne Frank’s erratic relationship with her mother.

Answer: The mother-daughter relationship between Anne Frank and her mother was erratic. A fought with each other a lot as they were unable to share any understanding with each other. Anne believed that her mother would mock her cruelty and this made her prefer her father openly. The open preference for her father made her mother feel hurt. The thought of her mother on Anne as a friend rather than a daughter made Anne reprimand her through furious and hateful diary entries. She wanted her to behave like a responsible mother and set examples. However, the maturity in her made Anne feel ashamed of her hatred for her mother through, she could never feel the child love for her anymore.

4. How does Anne describe the eight residents of the Annex? What does it reveal about her?

Answer: Anne used to observe everything and every person around her in minute details and she used to record her observations in her diary. She describes her father as an understanding and loving person and her mother as a person difficult to understand. She describes Margot as a brilliant person and Peter as someone who is a shy person. He describes Mrs Van Daan as a silly person and Mr Van Daan as the colleague of her father. In her eyes, Mr Dussel is a quarrelsome and selfish person. According to her, she herself was a blend of two different personalities.

5. Based on her diary entries from 12 June 1942 to 13 June 1943, how do you think Anne’s life changed from her thirteenth birthday to her fourteenth birthday? (changes in school life, friends, social life, living arrangements, food, health and relationships with others).

Answer: Based on her diary entries from 12 June 1942 to 13 June 1943, we can see that Anne saw many extraordinary changes that had a deep impact on her personality. Between her two birthdays, she went on from living in her own house with all the comforts to living in hiding with her family along with four others sharing a secret space, sharing foods, and making all sorts of sacrifices. She no longer could go to the school and no longer could go out as it would put along with her everyone else in the Annex into danger. She was completely cut off from the rest of the world and instead of being a carefree curious teen, she is now living a life indoor, constantly hiding and constantly in fear of being discovered by the Nazis.

6. How do the circumstances in which they were living encourage the relationship between Anne and Peter?

Answer: The circumstances in which they were living encouraged them to come closer as they were living in neighbouring quarters, which helped them to meet and talk every day. Both felt isolated and wanted love and companionship. There were just three children in the secret Annex and Margorot was not of their age. Peter and Anne complimented each other and found solace in the company of each other. They could share their deep secrets with each other, unlike the rest. All these circumstances in which they were living encouraged the relationship.

7. Write a brief character sketch of Anne Frank. Choose words that describe Anne’s character and find examples from the text for each- optimistic, intelligent, curious, moody, sensitive, practical, well-educated, selfish, egotistical, talkative, lively, rebellious, serious, happy-go-lucky.

Answer: Anne Frank was a smart, kind-hearted, and sensitive girl who observed her surroundings in extraordinary details and let the events happening around her leave deep marks inside her heart. Though life wasn’t east in the secret Annex, yet she was optimistic that the world would end one day and things would be back to normal and she would be able to go to school again. She was a talented writer and her diary is proof of it. She, however, wasn’t free of flaws. She was biased towards her mother and others and never would think much before hurting others with her actions. But she was lively at the same time, as Peter mentioned once, that she was always cheerful. She would also receive a lot of complaint because of her talkative nature, but she would not let the words sink in.

8. Even before going into hiding, Anne is sensitive to the difficulties the Jewish people have to face. Comment on Anne’s feelings about the discrimination meted out to the Jewish people.

Answer: Anne felt that the Jews could never be only English or German or Finnish as they would always be Jews and they would be discriminated. She felt that Jews, in all their history, suffered tremendously and might be the suffering and discrimination they were facing was the will of God for something great. She, however, felt a deep pain for the Jews suffering and would live in guilt that while she was living in limited comforts, others were being marched to concentration camps and murdered. She but hoped that their deaths would be painless. She wanted to do something for others. She wanted to do something for the world.

10. Explain Anne’s relationship with Nature.

Answer: To Anne, to go to nature is the best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy and she believed that God wants us to be happy and enjoy the beauty of nature. According to her, it could help us with all our troubles and as long as the sky and the sunshine exist, and as long as she could enjoy it, she could not be sad. She would go to the attic almost every morning to get some fresh air, and sometimes, there’d be Peter too and they would sit together on the floor and look out at the blue sky, the trees and the birds. Nature would make her hopeful, humble and ready to face everything with courage! Unfortunately, she could only look at nature through dusty curtains hung over dirty windows.

12. Explain the historical background of The Diary of a Young Girl. Include information about the causes of World War II, Hitler’s power and influence, prejudice at that time, lost privileges of the Jews, and how these factors affected Anne’s family.

Answer: World War II was a very dark period in the history of the world. Adolf Hitler rose to power as the Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and was intent on ridding Europe of Jewish people. He established many anti-Jewish laws which made life harsh and dangerous for Jews in Germany. Anne Frank and her family were forced to leave Germany and start a new life in the Netherlands (Holland). The Franks settled into their new life comfortably. They felt free and safe again. But this peace was to last them only a few more years. In 1940, Hitler attacked the Netherlands and his Nazi party took control of the country. The Nazis had closed the way in and out of the country, so the Franks decided to hide in a secret flat in Mr Frank’s office building in Amsterdam. In 1942, the Franks shifted into their hiding place-the ‘Secret Annex’.

Prior to shifting to the Secret Annex, Sensitive and intelligent, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank started recording her daily experiences, thoughts and emotions in a diary. Life in hiding was fraught with many difficulties. The very real fear of being discovered and arrested hung over each of them constantly. ln 1945, when Anne was fifteen, someone betrayed the Franks and they were all arrested. Anne died in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the only one to survive the war.

13. While Anne is surrounded by petty-minded people, she also has people around her who are examples of extraordinary courage and heroism. Comment.

Answer: While Anne is surrounded by petty-minded people, she also has people around her who are examples of extraordinary courage. Her father, Otto Frank, did an extraordinary job in securing the lives of his family members. His meticulous planning, choosing the people he could trust with his life, and the network he had established to have access to all the necessities despite not having a job or being able to go out of the hiding was commendable. Miep, Mr Koophuis, Elli also displayed enormous courage and sacrifices to save the lives of the Franks and others at Annex. They constantly supplied them what they needed to stay alive, risking their own lives. Then there was Mr M, the man who used to sell them potatoes, butter and jam on the black market and the baker. All these people played instrumental roles in keeping the Franks and others alive while they were hiding for several years.

14. After reading Anne Frank’s diary, what idea do you have of the effects of war? What important historical lessons do you learn from it?

Answer: Wars are terrible times, and after reading Anne Frank’s diary, and being exposed to the minute details of the wars on the individual lives of the citizens fill us with horror. The normalcy that wars bring over the death of the multitude of people is something the world doesn’t need ever. Wars do no good to anyone but make the lives of people as miserable as can be. People are being killed either on the battlefield or in riots or in poverty, and children are turned into thieves. Anarchy rules the streets.

We learn a lot about the Second World War, the rise of Hitler, the numerous battles fought on different fronts and how even in the high ranking officers surrounding Hitler, not everyone was happy with the way he was acting. The misery of the Jews in the war was a stark reality that will forever be talked about with the war. The diary gives us an insight into the details of the lives of people who were hiding, not just the Franks, and how their rights as citizens were stripped off. The diary mentions the moral degradations of the decent people and children in the society as everyone wanted to have food in their stomachs and killings of the Jews in the concentration camps, a reality that will forever haunt the people irrespective of times and nationalities.

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