“Didn’t you have to do that in Middle School?”
That was the question that someone asked me when I told them that I was reading the Diary of Anne Frank. The answer is “Yes” I did but, as with most thing I was reading in Middle School, I read as quickly as I could so that the teacher would stop bothering me while I was reading what I wanted. In college this habit changed to not reading what was assigned until the day before the knowledge was need and reading what I wanted in the interim.
Right. Now then, I have to say that this fiction got to be a little heartbreaking. For every moment of optimism that Anne presents I’m jarred knowing that such pure optimism wont be rewarded. There is no Diary of Anne Frank sequel, unless of course it gets turned into a summer blockbuster by Hollywood. *rimshot*
I’ve been in her annex, walked through it, I don’t remember much about Amsterdam, but I remember her toilet. At the time, and ever since, it has seemed like a very awkward and inconsequential thing to remember, but in rereading the book I see how much time she spends talking about the bathroom. It should be said that I read what was presented to me by the introduction as an unabridged version of the Diary. The copy Mr. Frank turned in after the war apparently omitted certain parts about how vehemently Anne hated her mother and some of the discussions about sex that Anne had with the book. I certainly didn’t remember Anne describing the anatomy of the vagina in my middle school copy, nor her talking about the beauty of the female form and wishing for a girlfriend.
Going back to read it now, I see why it is taught in middle school. It is taught to make young boys uncomfortable (which could be better accomplished with the entry where Anne talks about her clitoris) and make everyone thankful that they don’t live in a foreign occupied country.
It showed me how little really has changed since the 1940s. Anne was hoping to become a journalist, in her we get that she is not going to be a typical housewife, she is going to break free. She was capable of great insights, that I didn’t reach for years. I particularly liked when she was describing her classmates:
“Everyone thinks she’s very smart, but she isn’t. She just tries hard and studies.”