*NOTE: This is the Definitive Edition of Anne Frank’s diary. I have never read the common version which was originally published and heavily edited by Otto Frank. The older version cut out Anne’s hatred for her mother, negative comments about other Annex members, and Anne’s sexual thoughts/musings (which are almost pornographic) as she experienced puberty. The definitive version was first published in 1987 and has been banned from many schools.*
“Paper has more patience than people.” (page 6)
Title: The Diary of Anne Frank (The Definitive Edition)
Written by: Anne Frank,
Edited by: Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler
Translated by: Susan Massotty
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group,
Publication Date: Oct 5, 2011
Paperback: 352 pages
Normally, I would put a plot summary here but I’m not sure how to describe this book.
It is beautiful, yet ugly.
It is foreign, yet close to my heart.
It is (extremely) inappropriate, yet a book everyone needs to read at least once, if not twice.
It is The Diary of Anne Frank.
I have a confession to make: I hate Anne Frank.
Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a word.
I dislike Anne Frank.
Although I sympathize with her on many points, I’m turned away by a lot of her behaviors. She says and does hurtful things, is manipulative, selfish, and conceited. Granted she can also be caring, kind, and funny but I find she falls more often into the negative trait arena.
She admittedly and adamantly hates her mother, she blatantly disobeys her parents, and insults every member of the Secret Annex. (although, to be fair, they all insult her back)
I’m sorry, but I just don’t like her.
Moving on from personal griefs …
As much as I hate to use this term for such a deep and sensitive story, I find myself fascinated and almost infatuated with The Diary of Anne Frank.
There is something about life in the Secret Annex that invokes a sense of wonder, of curiosity, and strangely – of longing in me.
I wonder what would I have done in the annex.
Would I have spent many long hours reading? (probably) Writing? (probably) Doing schoolwork? (unfortunately, also probably)
I’m full of curiosity of what everyday life would have been like for me. What would have been my annex-hold chores?
Dishes? Potato peeling? Sweeping? Something worse?
What would my schedule have looked like?
Would I have gotten along with the other annex members?
And lastly, longing: because, as horrible as it is to be locked inside for any extended period of time and even though the annex members almost constantly fought – the annex members had each other.
Forget the fighting, the arguing, the bickering, they cared about each other.
They ranted at someone, than turned around to wrap that person’s birthday present.
They insulted someone, than went out of their own way to make sure the other’s wants were satisfied.
They piled curses on someone only to shower them with kisses later.
They cared, and nothing you can say will change my mind.
I highly recommend the definitive version of Anne Frank’s diary for older teens and adults (especially those who want to learn about Jews in hiding).
Yes, it is inappropriate in some sections, but it is raw, real, and written surprisingly well for a girl in her yearly teens.
Age Range: 13 and older
Violence: hangings, shootings, sickness, War, brutal treatment of Jews, and skinning/eating a cat are mentioned. Earlier in his life, Anne’s father wanted to kill himself with a knife. Everyone in the annex argues with each other.
Sensuality: Anne states that she has many “suitors”. An older boy has feelings for her but she’s just stringing him along. Mrs. Van Pels flirts with the men in the Annex. Anne talks about where babies come from. Herr Pfeffer puts his head on Anne’s bare chest when she is sick. Anne graphically describes female body parts. Anne and Peter talk openly about ‘sexual organs’. Anne and Peter kiss. Anne and Peter spend lots of time alone together. A man is living with a woman he is not married to. Peter reads a book about women. When Anne was younger she wanted to touch another girls breast. Anne finds pictures of female nudes ‘exquisite’. Anne sees nothing wrong with not saving one’s self physically for one’s husband or wife. Periods, brothels, prostitutes, and sex are mentioned.
Profanity: Lots of people swear but Anne doesn’t write their words down. G-sh, and h–l are said and God’s name is taken in vain.
Other(drugs/alcohol): the office staff and many of the Annex members drink wine and beer. Several people smoke. Anne hates her mother. The children are disobedient.
Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Cleanness Rating: 1 out of 5 stars