Monday, August 5, 2013

THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL: THE DEFINITIVE EDITION by ANNE FRANK (edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler)

Paper is more patient than people. – Anne Frank
                                                  
To give you a little idea of who Anne Frank is, here’s a brief description:

Anne Frank was a Jew. She was born in Germany, but her family later moved to Holland where she grew up. She was among the Jews who suffered during the Nazi occupation. She was the girl who lived to share the story of her life.

The Diary of a Young Girl was an account of everything that Anne Frank had been through in the two years her family and a few friends were in hiding from the Nazis until they were caught. Here she related her fears, concerns, doubts, and hopes which she couldn’t seem to disclose to anyone who was staying with her in the confines of the Secret Annex. This story, which was all taken from young Anne’s standpoint, was about how eight Jews, who were almost disconnected to the outside world, struggled to survive the danger and strangeness of everyday life under the Nazi colonization.

As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that you’re pure within and will find happiness once more. – Anne Frank

There’s no denying the greatness of The Diary of a Young Girl. At such age, Anne Frank used words and statements which were so thought-provoking and deep. Her diary was truly very well-written and relatable. There was a passage where Anne said her narrative wasn’t enough to describe the misery they were having, but I thought it was more than what was necessary to let the readers understand their situation. It captured the perfect picture that showed how it was like during those difficult times back then. The image was, as expected, a heartbreaking one. You could only imagine all the sounds of guns and bombs, the news of death and invasion every night and day.

At first glance, I thought this was just another story about surviving the war, but then I realized there was more. I came to understand that while they were fighting to outlive the war, they were also struggling in finding ways to survive the things in between. By this, I meant the things that were going on inside their hiding place. The squabbles over trivial matters, the boredom of doing the same things over and over again, the scarcity of supplies, the incompatibility of their personalities, and the longing for peace and safety all amount to the things in between.

An empty day, though clear and bright,
Is just as dark as any night. – Anne Frank

You know what was even more upsetting? The truth that it was all taken from an adolescent’s point of view. It must have been very hard for Anne to be in the middle of the chaos when she was already having her own share of the so-called transitional commotions inside herself brought about by puberty. Anne Frank was just brilliant and inspirational. How she managed to pull all of it together at such a young age was so admirable.

I liked the idea that it ended with more of Anne’s thoughts and not with just details of what happened in their Secret Annex. The story, or should I say diary, may not have ended with a solution, but at least it concluded with an explanation of what Anne thought was her problem. I think it was what wrapped up everything that she talked about in her journal. It was an understanding of why she wrote what she wrote and why she felt what she felt in those two years.
All’s fair in love and war. – Hello Silberberg

While and after reading, I couldn’t help but have some realizations. I came up with a list of things which may not only apply in times of war but also in everyday life. Here are a few:

First, we may become preoccupied by other things, by our busy life, but we should not forget to stop every once in a while to appreciate the simple things around us, or else life would just pass us by unconsciously.

Second, we often take things which are readily available to us for granted. We only realize what we’ve lost when it’s gone.

Third and last, it’s only during the times when we are left with nothing to do, whether by choice or by force, that we get the chance to really think things through and make real observations of ourselves and of our environment.

All in all, The Diary of a Young Girl is definitely an eye-opening read. This is one of those books you read if you want to learn a handful of life lessons with a little history on the side.

Are you done reading this book? Share your thoughts!


*Photo sources: http://kootation.com/
                        http://www.annefrank.org



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