Part One of My Anne Frank Essay

         Good and evil was a constant issue between society as a whole, the eight people in hiding, and the main character Anne. In society, people were not always honorable, one example being the blackmailer Karl, who scared Miep and Mr. Kraler into thinking he knew something about the families they were hiding. Mr. Kraler tells Mr. Frank and the others, “A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the storeroom, he closed the door and asked me . . . “How’s Mr. Frank? What do you hear from Mr. Frank?” I told him I only knew there was a rumor that you were in Switzerland. He said he’d heard that rumor too, but he thought I might know something more. I didn’t pay any attention to it . . . but then a thing happened yesterday . . . He’d brought some invoices to the office for me to sign. As I was going through them, I looked up. He was standing staring at the bookcase . . . your bookcase. He said he thought he remembered a door there . . . Wasn’t there a door there that used to go up to the loft? Then he told me he wanted more money. Twenty guilders more a week.” 

       Another example of the evil in society were the Green Police. When Mr. Dussel first arrives at the annex, he tells the other occupants of how much worse things outside have gotten since the seven had gone into hiding. “You don’t realize what’s going on. . . . Right here in Amsterdam every day hundreds of Jews disappear.... They surround a block and search house by house. Children come home from school to find their parents gone. Hundreds are being deported . . . people that you and I know . . . They get their call-up notice . . . come to the Jewish theater on such and such a day and hour . . . bring only what you can carry in a rucksack. And if you refuse the call-up notice, then they come and drag you from your home and ship you off to Mauthausen. The death camp!” Mrs. Frank and even Anne began to cry when they heard of the news he brought. 

         Nevertheless, good was able to shine through all of the evil in the form of Miep, Mr. Kraler, the Allies and others in the community willing to help the less fortunate. Miep and Mr. Kraler brought supplies, recreational items like books and a radio, as well as bringing the eight up to date with current events— whether or not it was bad news. The group Miep got the ration books from were also an example of the good in society. The Allies invaded Normandy, France and fought against Nazi Germany, also known as D-Day. Most of the evil that came from the eight people in hiding were a result of being with each other all the time, hunger and sickness, as well as a dysfunctional familythe Van Daans. Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan were constantly bickering, or as Mr. Van Daan put it “having discussions” about Peter, Mrs. Van Daan’s materialistic, flirtatious and fatalistic attitude, and just their varying opinions on different things. One of their biggest quarrels were over Mrs. Van Daan’s fur coat. When Mr. Van Daan decides to sell Mrs. Van Daan’s prized fur coat, Mrs. Van Daan has a fit, No! No! No! Don’t you dare take that! You hear? It’s mine! My father gave me that! You didn’t give it to me. You have no right. Let go of it . . . you hear?” In spite of her cries, Mr. Van Daan heartless snatches the coat from her hands, running down the stairs and handing it to Miep to sell for cigarettes as Mrs. Van Daan sank to the floor, sobbing. Mr. Van Daan was a part of an even bigger problem later onstealing food.  
     One night, Mrs. Frank catches Mr. Van Daan stealing half a loaf of bread from the cupboard and becomes outraged, along with everyone else. Mr. Dussel throttles Mr. Van Daan, and it takes Mr. Frank and Peter to pull him off. Even Mr. Frank yells at Mr. Van Daan, indignantly saying, We’re all of us hungry! I see the children getting thinner and thinner. Your own son Peter . . .I’ve heard him moan in his sleep, he’s so hungry. And you come in the night and steal food that should go to them . . . to the children!” Mr. Van Daan becomes so ashamed then that he starts to weep.

       The eight people in hiding had moments of goodness as well. For instance, the simple fact that Mr. Frank and the others, although Mr. Van Daan may have been a little bit less welcoming, willingly let Mr. Dussel move in with them even though there was barely enough food and room for all of them then. Furthermore, during Hanukkah everyone was able to come together to celebrate. There was a small squabble about Peter’s cat being put out because of Mr. Dussel’s allergies and Mr. Van Daan’s hatred of Mouschi, but it was nothing compared to what happened next. As Mr. Frank is blowing out the Hanukkah candle, they hear a crash from below, everyone freezes, and following Mr. Frank’s lead, soundlessly slip off their shoes. Mr. Frank turns off the light next to him and motions for Peter to do the same to the center lamp. Peter can’t reach the lamp from where he was sitting, so he stands on a chair. However, Peter loses his balance and falls, taking the chair and iron lampshade down with him. The mystery man runs away, and everyone is still shaken, sure that it was the Green Police coming to get them. Mr. Frank goes downstairs and figures out it was just a thief. When this still fails to comfort anyone, he says, “Have we lost all faith? All courage? A moment ago we thought that they’d come for us. We were sure it was the end. But it wasn’t the end. We’re alive, safe. Come on, Anne. The song! Let’s have the song!”, referring to the Hanukkah song Anne was singing previously. 

       As Anne starts to sing, everyone gradually joins in, realizing then that they are lucky to be alive. Everyone also came together to celebrate the invasion of the allied forces on the coast of Normandy. The stage directions tell us, “[DUSSEL embraces MRS. VAN DAAN. PETER grabs a frying pan and parades around the room, beating on it, singing the Dutch national anthem. ANNE and MARGOT follow him, singing, weaving in and out among the excited grown-ups. MARGOT breaks away to take the flowers from MIEP and distribute them to everyone.]  This actually occurs after Mr. Van Daan’s thievery is found out and Mrs. Frank threatens to kick the Van Daans out. Yet, here they all are singing and dancing with each other.

Coming Up: The Diary Of Anne Frank

     Recently, in my language arts class, we read the play adaptation by  Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. My teacher gave us the assignment to evaluate the good and evil in society, the eight people in hiding, and of course, Anne Frank. I received an A on the paper, so I thought I'd post it here for anyone who has read the book or the play. However, it's a pretty long paper, so I'll be posting the whole essay in a separate post. If you haven't read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, I strongly encourage you to. It's a document of a huge part of historythe Holocaustfrom the eyes of a 13 year old Jewish girl in hiding.