The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

10. Comment on Anne’s relationship with Peter.


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"Since Saturday a lot has changed for me," writes Anne, and what has changed, she notes, is Peter. He is looking at her in a new way, "to my great joy." This is a pleasant surprise as she had once believed Peter was in love with Margot. Anne finds excuses to go upstairs where the Van Daans stay, and cries when she does not get the opportunity to speak to him. She admits that "I really do hardly anything else but think of Peter," and makes lists of the things they have in common. For her, Peter Van Daan and Peter Wessel "have grown into one Peter, who is beloved and good."

In this section of the diary, Anne gets to return, however briefly, to life before going into hiding. She does this via her relationship with Peter. Her love for Peter is innocent and touchingly naive, and it has echoes of her relationship with Harry at the beginning of the book. It is refreshing to experience this relationship with Anne. The reader is reminded that she is, after all, only a teenage girl, with a regular teenage girl's feelings about the opposite sex.

In many ways it appears the relationship is a relief to Anne, as well. She fully admits that she needs affection from a boy at this time of her life, and that is, in large part, why she chooses Peter. While Anne's overwhelming need may lead the reader to believe that she is not really in love with Peter at all, it proves that life in the annex is emotionally harsh and stifling for Anne. She develops feelings for Peter in part because it makes her days more exciting, and helps her forget the pressures of life on a day-to-day basis. This does not make her feelings less valid, it merely points out a major theme of the diary: Anne's loneliness and desperate search for someone in whom she may confide her feelings.