The Diary of a Young Girl Important Characters

Anne Frank

Anne Frank, as a thirteen year old girl, received a diary which would change the way the world looked at the lives of Jewish people during World War II. She had to endure the limitations put upon her and other Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland. These limitations included among other things wearing a yellow star, to mark them as Jews, not being allowed to attend the schools of their choice, and being told who to associate with. She and her family were forced into hiding the same year she turned thirteen. She is courageous in living in the "Secret Annex" with the threat of exposure constantly hanging over her and the others in hiding. She is also a normal teenage girl, who at turns feels sorry for herself, is a little too free with her opinions, and has a crush on Peter, the son of the Van Daan's which is the other family in hiding with them. Anne, like most teenage girls, also has difficulty getting along with her mother. She feels that her mother does not understand her nor does her mother really love her. As she grows older Anne does grow as a person. She learns that the world does not revolve around her and her feelings, but rather to take the feelings of others into consideration. She endures in the "Secret Annex" food shortages, lack of privacy and being forced to stay inside for about two years. She in the end has hope that the war will soon be over and she will be able to resume a normal life once again.

Mr. Frank

Mr. Frank is a man who will do anything to keep his family safe. He moved them from Germany to Holland after he realized the effect the Nazi party would have on the Jews of Germany. He had hoped to spare them the suffering of living under Nazi rule, but unfortunately the Nazis occupied Holland after the Franks moved there. He made the move to secure a hiding place for them along with the Van Daan family. Mr. Frank endures the hardships of living in the "Secret Annex" with good grace, always trying to keep the spirits of the others up. He only shows true anger after Anne writes him the letter telling him she does not need him or his wife anymore. He tells her the letter was one of the most hurtful things he has ever read. But, true to his compassionate self he burns the letter and forgives Anne. He is the lone survivor of the family after the war.

Mrs. Frank

Mrs. Frank does not bear the forced seclusion well. She leaves the unpacking to Anne and Mr. Frank because she cannot cope with being in the "Secret Annex". While she wants to show love to Anne, she has a hard time doing so. Instead of encouraging Anne, she is always quick to criticize her. That being said, if someone else criticizes Anne, she is always willing to come to her daughter's defense. Mrs. Frank does show love and understanding towards Margot, Anne's sister. She is also a hard worker and willing to fight for her family. She does not allow Mrs. Van Daan to push her around, she instead pushes back at Mrs. Van Daan; this is sometimes entertaining to Anne and the others.

Margot

Margot is Anne's older sister, she is about three years older than Anne. In Anne's estimation Margot is about as perfect as a person can be. This causes some friction between the sisters, but in general they get along very well. Margot is the more intelligent, better mannered and more obedient of the two sisters. She also feels left out as Anne and Peter become closer friends. Margot also longs for someone to confide in, but does not have that person in the "Secret Annex". She does talk to her mother more than Anne does because she is able to be more amiable than Anne.

Peter

Peter is the sixteen year old son of the Van Daan's. At first when the family joins the Franks in the "Secret Annex", Peter seems lazy and reticent to talk to anyone. He is a loner who likes to escape work as much as possible. Later as the diary progresses, Anne realizes he has an inferiority complex which is why he acts so aloof. Anne seeks him out and pushes him into a friendship with her. She decides that because he is so quiet he would be the perfect person to confide her innermost feelings to. Peter, for his part, is grateful for the companionship. He tells her how much he dislikes his parents and about his feelings of inadequacy. He eventually starts to develop deeper feelings for Anne, but in the end they decide it is best to remain as friends. Peter is also brave, he shows this by confronting burglars when they enter the building the families are hiding in and by how he deals with the stress of living in hiding. Peter evolves into a mature person who tries to be courageous in the face of adversity.

Mrs. Van Daan

Mrs. Van Daan is a spoiled woman who expects everyone to behave as she does. What she does not realize is that her behavior is not exemplary. She especially does not like Anne due to Anne being a very outspoken person. Mrs. Van Daan feels that children should not express their opinions on any subject, because they do not have the experiences to draw upon that adults do. This puts her in direct conflict with Anne and her parents. Mrs. Van Daan also does not get along at all with Mrs. Frank. Their problems started after the Van Daan's moved into the "Secret Annex" and Mrs. Van Daan began hiding some of her things. She felt that she should not have to share items such as furniture, dishes and food with the Franks. In retaliation, Mrs. Frank did the same with some of the Frank items. This caused a great deal of discord among the two women. Mrs. Van Daan felt that she had sacrificed enough so when her husband told her they would have to sell her prized fur coat for money, she was firmly against the idea. She was eventually brought around to selling the coat. Another attribute of Mrs. Van Daan was her exaggerated sense of courage. She was always telling the others to be like her, but when the burglaries occurred or the bombings happened, she was always the first person crying and shaking like a scared little kitten.

Mr. Van Daan

Mr. Van Daan is very helpful to the Frank's after they go into hiding. He tells the man who rents rooms from the Franks that they have gone to Switzerland. He and his wife seem to constantly squabble over everything, which is embarrassing to Peter and the others in the "Secret Annex". He does however try to help during the multiple burglaries at the building. He does inadvertently cause some trouble for everyone during one of the burglaries because he shouted "Police" at the intruders. They left, but others looked to see the problem in the building and they did contact the real police. This caused much anxiety for the group for several days. Mr. Van Daan's position in the group is to control Mrs. Van Daan and to help out as needed.

Mr. Dussel

He is a dentist whose wife is in America. He was recommended to the group by Miep. Miep is a young woman who worked for Mr. Frank and now is among the group of people who help those in hiding survive. Mr. Dussel at first seems to be very easy going and friendly. The families feel that he will fit in well with them. Anne has to share her room with him and this is how the problems with him start for her. He takes it upon himself to correct every flaw he sees in her personality. He is also a rather selfish man who dominates the room and bathroom. He also feels that his needs in the room outweigh Anne's needs because she is, after all, only a child. After the burglaries, the group instituted new security rules. One of these directly affected Mr. Dussel. He liked to sit in the owner of the building's office on the weekends, when no one was working in the building. This was considered too risky. Mr. Dussel fought with Mr. Van Daan and Mr. Frank over this and lost the fight. Mr. Dussel was not a very good roommate because he was rude and selfish.

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