Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Claustrophobia of Hiding
The definitive edition is Anne's heavily collection of diary entries. She wanted to become a writer. And the Definitive Edition is only a fraction of all we can ever know about Anne Frank as the writer. I really, really like this book. Anne did an excellent job of preserving her wartime experience in the Secret Annex. (If only she could have lived to publish it herself.) I use the word "preserving" because she reviewed the original material and explanded upon it.
Anne lets us get a feel for the whole experience in hiding. We feel her claustrophobia, her restlessness, her romantic feelings for Peter, her frustration, her hopes, etc. We are transported to the terrible time that ws the world from 1942- Aug 1944. Anne provides occassional updates on the war. Anne talks about the weather, and it's not just a sort of "filler". She wants us to know what it was like to walk through the sweltering streets of Amsterdam just to get to an appointment; Jews couldn't take the trams. We can imagine a warm July rain pouring on us as we leave our nice apartment house for the unknown... the Secret Annex. We can see Anne's spiritual and moral development mature.
And the diary is also a snapshot of a teenager's mentality. Her feelings towards Mrs. van Dam for example. We know that, in the end, Mrs. van Dam cares for Margot and Anne as they suffer from typhus in Bergen-Belsen. Mrs. van Dam took Anne to be reunited with her long lost friend, Hanneli.
Anne's feelings towards her mother and sister can be very raw. We know that, in Auschwitz, Mrs. Frank snuck food to Anne and Margot when both girls were in the infirmary. Anne, suffering from scabies, was voluntarily accompanied by Margot to the infirmary.
When we read Anne's diary, we are aware of her fate. Yet, because she makes herself and everyone else so vivid, we cringe because we know that they will attempt to stay together as a family, through the hell they endured after their arrest.