Characters

Our thorough characterizations based on the autobiographical novel Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) paint the portrait of the eight Jewish people in hiding who live together for two years in a secret annex in Amsterdam. First, we describe in detail the  main character and young author, who describes her life in hiding, her fears, and her hopes in 195 diary entries. To the outside world, Anne Frank presents herself as a carefree, lively, and mouthy teenager who rarely stays serious and doesn't seem to care about other people's opinions. This behavior is often criticized by the adult residents of the secret annex, who constantly remind her to be more modest and reserved. 

Deep down, however, Anne is a very thoughtful, sensitive, and self-critical person. She is constantly striving to improve herself and grow in character. With her ambition, thirst for knowledge, and desire to write, she longs for an adventurous and glamorous life as a writer. She wants to publish the diary as a novel after the war and begins to revise the work while in hiding. However, she does not get enough time to do so, as the eight people in hiding are arrested by the police on August 4, 1944.

 We will also discuss in detail the other seven characters, all real people: Anne's parents (Edith Frank-Holländer and Otto Frank) and older sister Margot, Mr. and Mrs. van Daan and their son Peter, as well as the last person to go into hiding, the outsider Dr. Albert Dussel. We also briefly introduce the eight people in hiding with the help of character profiles. Next, we examine the role of the four helpers, as well as Anne`s imaginary friend Kitty, who plays the part of Anne’s confidante.

 

Extract from Character Analysis of Anne: 

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Despite the many limitations of her everyday life in the secret annex, Anne does her best not to let others see her dissatisfaction: 

I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free, and yet I can’t let it show. Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us? (45%).

Anne also reveals her selflessness and her willingness to make sacrifices when she gracefully accepts to share her room with Albert Dussel, a man who is a stranger to her. She gladly makes this small sacrifice (20%) to save another Jew from persecution by the Nazis.

After about a year and a half in the secret annex, Anne reaches a point where she is almost stoic about her own fate. She admits her own inability to influence the course of the world. However, she does not take this as a reason to give up but wants to continue living her life as best she can: “The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.” (54%).

To some extent, Anne's perseverance and her trust in a good end can be explained by her Jewish faith. She is sure that the Jews are not suffering in vain: “Who knows, maybe our religion will teach the world and all the people in it about goodness, and that’s the reason, the only reason, we have to suffer.” (78%). 

Anne's writing style also changes during this time. She not only writes her diary to Kitty but writes letters to other imaginary friends as well.

Appearance and reality

Even in her young years, Anne has a keen interest in discovering and analyzing her own character. She realizes that her behavior and her inner nature are incompatible. According to Anne, her outer side shows “my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things” (99%), while her inner side is “much more purer, deeper and finer” (99%).

Although she would love to display her more contemplative side in front of others, Anne doesn't dare seem too serious in public: “I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously.” (99%). While on the outside Anne always tries to appear carefree and humorous, when others find fault with her character, she does take their words to heart (100%). 

Anne is exactly who she wants to be only when she is alone : “I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am . . . on the inside.” (100%). Her soft side is her greatest secret, since she feels that no one, not even her own family, knows it (99%).

Anne is also more empathetic and compassionate than she appears on the outside. Although she has gone into hiding with her family, she can't stop thinking about the fate of other people. Not only does she feel sorry for all those who are persecuted, but she feels downright guilty for not being able to help them: 

We wouldn’t have to give a moment’s thought to all this suffering if it weren’t for the fact that we’re so worried about those we hold dear, whom we can no longer help. I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed, while somewhere out there my dearest friends are dropping from exhaustion or being knocked to the ground. (20-21%). 

Anne dreams several times about a beloved former school friend and cannot bear the thought that something might have happened to her (cf. 44% and 49%).

Anne's future plans

Anne is inquisitive and spends much of her time in the secret annex studying for all school subjects (87%) so she can continue her education after liberation. In the evenings, she regularly assists the helpers from the office and does office work. In addition, she learns shorthand while in hiding.

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