Anne Frank’s story is extraordinary and stands out even against the backdrop of so many stories that have been written on the Holocaust and the experience of Jews who suffered through it. The Diary of Anne Frank has been the wonder of the world, as Frank wrote about the experience of being a little girl who had to deal with the realities of a horrible war. What Frank’s life and the literature about it shows is many themes. Frank’s life and her telling of that life show that one can have an expanding view of what “family” means during hard times, that the challenges of youth do not stop just because one is being put in constant danger, and that war is a special form of inescapable hell.
Anne Frank wrote about how her view of family would constantly expand depending on the situation. She was always having to welcome new people into the annexed space, and those people would depend on one another because of the situation. While she had her family that she loved, she also came to see friends and supporters as being “family” members. It is in this that one can see a lesson being taught by Frank. Family does not have to be narrow, and when people have been through incredible stress and tragedy together, they tend to be bonded in a way that is much closer than friendship. Her view of family is expansive enough that it challenges readers to think about their own perceptions of family.
In addition, Frank’s work is unique because, as she writes about her life, she is not taken fully by the gravity of the circumstances around her. Instead, she comes to describe that she still has some challenges as a young woman in a world with high expectations of her. Just because there are people who are threatening to kill her and everyone she has ever known does not mean that Frank is immune to the difficulties of growing up. She is a young woman who is trying to figure out her place in the world, and more, she is trying to navigate the relatively standard challenges of that world. Even the little things that young girls have to figure out to grow up are present in her life while she is still dealing with the bigger troubles all around her.
Finally, the book fully touches on the fact that warfare, especially in the context of World War II and the Holocaust was inescapable. She describes the scenes in which the people around her in the annex are addicted to the news about the war. Every move that they made had the war in mind. They were thinking about when the war might end, what danger might come next, and whether there was anything they might do to be safer. When one is in war, it permeates every conversation. Though Frank sometimes gets out of this in order to write about different things, the drum beat of war is still in the background.
Ultimately the life of Anne Frank is unique in a way. It shows many themes because it looked at life and a difficult time from such a unique perspective. Frank’s writing is in many ways about family and about a little girl who was able to see family as something big and bold and expansive. In addition to that, Frank wrote about growing up and how being a child did not stop just because one was in danger. Finally, the world was on some level about the constancy of warfare, which was dangerous and hellish for those who had to live through it.