The books that have transform me into a fervent and determined reader are usually books that possess the key elements of a fierce and intense prose with real life encounters the novelist was subjected to. I like books with a strong and clear-cut story line along with effective and formidable characters. I want to be able to imagine myself in the story, even if it is set in an unfamiliar time place or realm. Books that challenge me with new ideas or lessons are the type I like, novels that may have an effect on my opinion because of the themes and subjects contained in the book.
Four years ago, I came across one of the most famous books published in the middle of the 20th century, it was not just any old book that you can just read once and return it upon the shelves, however it was a book that was not written by a shrewd or ardent writer, but rather a girl who underwent a war zone childhood to which the ordeal progressed through the most important and weighty period of her teenage years. As I mentioned before, the book was not just an ordinary narrative, written by a writer who had gained experienced in writing before, yet what clenches potential fans and supporters of this young writer is the fact that she kept a diary throughout the two years she hid in the secret annex, and had no intentions of publishing her private, secretive accounts. She began her diary after listening to the radio one day to which the broadcaster mentioned that many publishing production companies, would be looking for relations and stories of living the daily life during the second world war, specifically declaring the proposals of letters and diaries holding narratives of the happenings during the dreadful and harrowing war.
Having heard this, the remarkable young writer, set to work. And she created something extraordinary, showing her beautiful and diligent disposition while undergoing unimaginable emotional turmoil. Her character and writing skills lead to her becoming the most famous and inspiring writer of the 20th century as well as the first writer to be a young teenager.
By now, you must be wondering who this astonishing person is. Of course if you are familiar with the words ‘diary’, ‘secret annex’, the ‘Westertoren clock’, or even the infamous name ‘Kitty’, then you are pretty much aware of who I am writing about. The one and only talented, Anne Frank.
Anne’s dairy is noted for the bestselling piece of literacy and the writer who earned a respectable reputation, gained posthumously fame and acclaim.
To review a brief synopsis on this remarkable book, we firstly need to begin with the introduction that it is not a conventional, story- telling chronicle, it is a diary, written in first person, offering an insight of the daily life of Anne Frank during pre-war and the threatening times of the holocaust.
The diary commences with Anne Frank’s details of the students in her class, beginning with the girls, she states in her diary to which she favours some and others she greatly criticizes and condemns and as stated in the diary narrated by Anne Frank about a girl she immensely despised, . . . “and you should see her closet! All clothes much too mature and sophisticated for an average school girl, oh! How I could write a whole book about her”. As readers, we flatteringly expect a conventional approach of a diary of a young girl, expecting effusively of the reports of Anne Frank’s dreams and her pursuit of happiness, the subjects being taught in the school she once used to attend, the many beaus she had the fortune to have held to her self- destructing self and the relationship she had with her family and close friends
Interior vision of Anne’s diary.
often Anne would refer to her diary as “Kitty”
What riveted myself personally, was the fact that, Anne Frank begins her diary through the establishment of her daily routine as a care free school girl, with many beaus and admirers then all of a sudden, the mood and tone of the diary unexpectedly and precipitously alters with Anne Frank, her family and her secret admirer, Peter Van Pels and his family are forced into hiding, to which they speedily seek shelter and protection through the company business of Otto Frank (father of Anne Frank), who indeed, sold spices.
As we continue to read the diary, we are now in hiding with Anne Frank located in the secret annex. Whether you are reading her account on your bed, or in the playground or on the bus, you somewhat begin to feel as if the world around you is not the year that you are active in but rather the year 1945, take for example, I first read the diary in the year 2013, but as I began to advance the headway of reading the special diary that Anne revealed, I slowly had my own world fade away, I was no longer living the normal British life, a safe and unscathed lifestyle, I thought I was another Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, encountering the threats of Hitler and his ruthless ideologies and political imposing strategies.
Indeed, and naturally, the reader does not want Anne Frank and the other members of the secret annex to be caught. We begin to feel that we are walking on eggshells and the whole description and emotion becomes extremely leery, every time Anne scribbles down the faintest of sounds during the night, or the chimes of the Westertoren clock, the gruelling sound of the lavatory being chained and flushed, the footsteps of the helpers and workers that were supposedly always made suspicious out of the fear and trepidation of the members of the secret annex, each sound or movement outside or inside of the annex, makes our skin crawl and the gnawing of our thumbs and lips intensified.
We do not want to read the words of the diary that ‘Anne Frank and the secret annex members are caught and forced into hard labour in the concentration camps’, we are sweetly engrossed and entertained by the new life that Anne has to abide by, the love story between Peter and Anne, and the jollifications between the two families. This continuous narrations of the ‘normal’ yet chilling lifestyle inside the secret annex offers assurance that they will be safe from the dictator and his soldiers and that the secret annex members will eventually make it out alive and restore back to their former lives.
So I greatly thought.
On the sunny afternoon of 4th August 1945, the last words that Anne noted down in her diary was, “Alas this is a small world”. The next page has an inscription that, “Anne’s diary ends here”. The members of the secret Annex were eventually discovered, the SA soldiers gathered Anne Frank, along with her parents and big sister Margot as well as her beloved beau Peter and his family , were all arrested and taken to the concentration camps to endure the long lasting pains of slave labour, imprisonment and torture.
I felt heartbroken and shaken that a moving account from the tales of Anne’s fascinating diary so dedicated and full of quirky relations, ended in dismay and perturb.
The story was so final .