Thanks to my best friend for gifting me the Diary of a Young Girl AKA The Diary of Anne Frank, I have just finished the most moving and thought provoking book that I have ever read. Of course when I began the diary entries I knew that it would be a deeply sad and touching book, however what Anne spoke of was very unexpected. Discussing topics such as loneliness, sex, love and depression, which of course some of which are bound to happen in such a confined circumstance, but the levels and clarity in which she speaks as a 13-15 year old is shocking.
If you have not read Anne Frank’s Diary (called Kitty) then I highly advise that you do, I am sure that it is not entirely what you expect it to be. In my case before reading it I thought that it would be very war centred and have a political and war effort theme. However, it is actually more of the inner thoughts, personality and habits of Anne Frank herself, she explores the nature of those around her and contemplates heavily on the psychology and doings of herself and those in hiding with her. As I got further into her diary I began to feel as if I knew her personally and on an emotional level, a connection with her grew as the entries developed at the same rate that she matured. Her insight into the life in the Secret Annex is not the only access to observations of how the Frank, the Van Daans and Dussel lived. Anne also presents herself as being a strong, independent, and although it was not very prevalent at her time she adopts values of men and women being equal. However, she isn’t preachy and in fact she’s very comical and light-hearted about these subjects as if they are obvious and common sense. Throughout the diary Anne speaks confidently, with strength and independence, but this is contrasted with other parts of the diary where she is withdrawn, self-resenting and lonely. This aspect is what makes the diary so excruciating to read, Anne holds nothing back as Kitty is her greatest and only confidant.
What makes Anne Frank’s diary the most painful and mentally altering for me is, what I previously mentioned, how she forms an understanding and friendship with her audience and as as reader you feel like Kitty, which makes her conclusion so heartbreaking. We did not know her in life, but we feel as if we did. She really does live on in the way that she always wanted, her legacy promotes peace, freedom and the reminder of what conflict and discrimination can bring. When I came to her final entry I had to pause before I started reading as a means to prepare myself for the abrupt ending, it was just an entry like any other, contemplative and intimate and then it just ends and my mind filled in the rest as well as the afterword which tells you the fates of each person in the Secret Annex and Anne’s legacy. I’ll be honest, when I finished the book entirely, I was in pieces, crying to myself in bed at midnight (go ahead and picture that) it altered my thought process in a way that I cannot explain. Anne would constantly promote honesty, hard work and doing what you believe is right. This is what I’m going to aim to incorporate into my life as I realised how important these values are in general let alone in the pressing situation she was in.
The Diary of Anne Frank is now my favourite non-fiction book, alongside I am Malala, as they both changed me as a person and taught me how to prioritise my values and motivate me to work harder and value respect and progress. I highly recommend you read either one or both.