February 17, 2010

Literary Pick (*****)

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

I'm really surprised by the number of people who thought this book was boring.
I could understand how an adult man might find the musings of a young girl rather dull, but how can people in general not find this journal utterly fascinating? Here is a teenage girl who up until the end wrote with the same emotional consistency as when she began. Whoever thinks this books is boring, is because they simply fail to realize, or even imagine the conditions in which this diary was written. To think how this young girls personal life continued beyond the details of the war is rather remarkable.
What would anyone else have written about in their diary as young boy or girl in the same predicament as the Franks?
Anne is surprisingly strong and mature for her age, impressively intelligent, and although there was a World War going on, her own particular world never abated. Her personal life was just as important, if not necessary in order for her to survive the day to day living conditions at the Annex.
Yes, there were brief moments of panic, but she had to live life, even if her living space was limited. She carried on as if being in hiding was a mere temporary inconvenience. She wasn't going to let that rob of her of her right to claim her passage into womanhood..her God given right to experience puberty, moodiness, emotions, and even love.

Here I thought I was about to read the semi-interesting scribbles of a blooming young lady, with ambiguous references to the war. But there is nothing cryptic about her diary. She shoots straight from the hip in this incredibly and shockingly honest account of what life was like for her and her family living in hiding during the WW. It's not what I expected. I expected something rather tame, but it's far from it. This young girl was very interesting and quite special.

You can't read this journal and think it's just an ordinary diary of a young girl, because it's not. Anne's diary is a representation of how other Jewish families lived and coped during the Nazi war. That's really powerful. Many people don't realize how fortunate we are (thanks to Anne Frank, her Father Otto Frank and Miep Gies) to have some insight on how it must have been for the Jews to coexist this way. Because of Anne, we can have some sort of idea of how it was like to live under floorboards, in between walls, and behind bookshelves. This diary humanizes and brings back to life the Jewish people who mysteriously disappeared but who had not yet died.
I love this diary and I'm so grateful to have read it.

It must have been extremely difficult for her father Otto Frank, to read his daughters diary after her death.


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