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In these difficult pandemic times, reading Anne Frank's 'The Diary Of A Young Girl' gave me hope & strength to pursue my passion!
In these difficult pandemic times, reading Anne Frank’s ‘The Diary Of A Young Girl’ gave me hope & strength to pursue my passion!
Most of us have been trapped in self or government-imposed lockdowns with restricted access to resources. Some are even dealing with the loss of a friend or a family member and are haunted with a sense of impending doom.
The choice of this book was based on the similarity in our circumstances. She had to go into hiding from the Germans during World War II just like we have been hiding due to fear of a virus.
Anne Frank had to go into hiding from the Germans during World War II just like we have been hiding due to fear of a virus. Like us, Anne Frank felt the loss of her people and an uncertain future. This was as difficult to picture due to the volatility of circumstances leading to a sense of hopelessness.
Anne was just 13 years old when she and her family were forced to go into hiding at her father’s office behind a bookcase ‘Secret Annex.’ Since she was from an affluent family it was a drastic change to move into a cramped hidden place with another family totalling eight residing members.
However, Anne found it amusing and started making an entry into her diary minutely describing each detail of her new home. She even made a map of the house with details of the occupants of each room.
Her family was confined to this house and had to be very quiet. They also had to keep all windows closed during the day as people used to work in this office during the daytime.
Though she would study and help in household work, she ensured to maintain her passion for writing. She took it very seriously as if a reader were out there waiting for her to spill beans on everyday events. She started observing and noting the characters of all the occupants in the house, their behaviours, and the chemistry and tussles among them.
Anne had just entered adolescence and it was not an easy time due to the varying emotional and hormonal changes. Being a rebel in nature she would always speak up for herself and had very defining views which were not acceptable for a young woman in the 1940s.
Due to this, she had to face criticism from elders in the household. But she did not let it dampen her spirits, even at times when she felt lonely and depressed. She poured it all in her diary.
The maturity of her thoughts on war, her opinion of the relationship between her parents which was not based on love, and her relationship with the boy hiding with them have been narrated beautifully.
Anne falls in love with the boy staying in hiding with them and they comfort each other. Still, she is very aware that her feelings have only developed due to their situation. And in the real world she would not have chosen him. She also realizes that the boy’s view of hate and violence against the Germans is a sign of weakness of character.
One important aspect of her life was the food. They had a limited supply with little to no variety and even for holidays had to be content with potatoes and spinach. The food situation gets worse over the two years but she manages to stay focused and brave.
Her writings were a form of self-discovery. We see how she gradually understands that she would want to be a journalist or writer one day and starts to rewrite a few of her earlier narrations in the diary.
Her life ended at the early age of fifteen when they got caught by the Germans. She was sent to a concentration camp where she ultimately died. However, this diary of hers was later obtained at the hiding and since then has been printed in several languages and is a classic of war literature.
I would recommend reading this book as it gave me hope, the strength to find light during these tragic times, and a spirit to pursue my passion. Even though Anne lost her life very young she has left an impressionable mark and has realized her dream to be a writer.
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