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Anne Frank’s diary is more than a witness to the oppression Jews faced during the Holocaust, but it is an intimate account on the details of adolescence. I think that Anne Frank represents teenagers around the world, no matter what their situations are.  Not only is The Diary of a Young Girl an important document in a historical context, but it is also important in a personal context, I’m sure all teenagers can relate to it. Anne Frank symbolizes adolescents universally, and she proves that even a Jew during the Holocaust has the same feelings as any other teenager. The Diary of a Young Girl is a great insight into the mind of an intellectual, brilliant and friendly person who loves to learn. Anne Frank’s character is so strong and powerful that her account is very inspiring. This is a great book because it gives you a close view of the characters of the victims of the holocaust, such as Mr. Dussel, who is always irritated by Anne, and Mrs. Van Daan, the pretentious and judgmental wife who is living in “The Secret Annex” with her husband along with The Franks. Anne’s Frank’s diary should not just categorized into “holocaust studies” because it will forever remain a relevant and important book, with very deep and truthful observations of life. This diary is evidence that people can maintain their lives and manage even in the worst of situations. Living in hiding behind a bookcase, in a secret branch of an office building, having to speak in whispers and not use water so that the people downstairs don’t discover them, all the people in The Secret Annex manage to have dinner, deal with the issue of sanitation, etc. even in the most awkward of situations!

As Anne Frank matures, so does her writing, and she gradually becomes more and more articulate. I think that, and she says so too in her diary, that Anne’s experience, although unfair and horrible, has made her a stronger and wiser character.

Anne puts into words what all adolescents feel at one time or another, such as not being understood or appreciated by others and wanting to be independent.

Of course, this book has its issues. The beginning may not be very interesting or engaging, it’s filled with everyday details and can be a bore to the reader, but things start to deepen in the end,where she describes her relationship with Peter van Daan, how she feels toward her mother (also in the middle of the book), and what she thinks of herself. However, I don’t think that the book should be judged so critically because, first of all, Anne has already gone through, among millions of others, horrible situations. Imagine being in hiding for 2 years and not being able to go outside, fearing any knock on your door is somebody who wants to take you. Also, Anne Frank only thought of being published in the end, and what was written before that was, in the beginning, thought to be for her only.

Anne Frank’s is a very sad story because it you read about what happened to her later, you’ll notice that had things happened a little later, everything would have turned out differently. I think that her situation was actually very hopeful and optimistic. I’m mentioning again that The Diary of a Young Girl is a major book. I think that for both teens and adults, it will either inspire them to write their diary or encourage them to continue writing. It will make people look at life with a different perspective, one which is more optimistic and intelligent.

Note: be sure to read the Definitive Edition of the diary, because it has a couple of entries that are not in the older version.

Shmoop: The Diary of a Young Girl

http://www.annefrank.com/

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"…On the surface, I seem to have everything, except my one true friend”

“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again.”
Anne Frank

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

I have just finished reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and in this post I’d like to focus on Atticus’ character, which I admire because of its decency and ethical behavior.

I think that although this book is about racial prejudice and injustice, it is also centered around the character and views of Mr. Atticus Finch, who is the narrator’s father and the lawyer defending the black man, Tom Robinson. I find Atticus a very idealistic, moral character. He has a great sense of humor and tries his best to raise his children as a single parent. I think that the hearing was not shown until the second part of To Kill a Mockingbird because the author wanted the reader to get to know Atticus as a person and a father, not just as a white lawyer defending an African American. The ending was so poignant and peaceful, and also showed Atticus as a loving and caring father. This view is best rendered by his young daughter because it shows his intimate and personal side. He is always pressured by his family to raise his children properly; he never hits them, and he doesn’t insist that his daughter act ‘like a lady’, as his sister thinks.

Atticus Finch also has strong views on the treatment of whites toward blacks. He considers his black cook, Calpurnia, as family and refuses to fire her even when his sister tells him to. In another moment in the book, he drives her home. He also tells Scout that he despises it when a white person takes advantage of a black person’s ignorance.

Atticus said a great thing at the end of the book, which was “Most people are [nice] Scout, when you finally see them”. When Jem shows dislike towards their dying, mean elderly neighbor, Mrs. Dubose, Atticus tells him that she already has problems and that she is courageous for fighting her morphine addiction before dying. Scout appreciates this, and realizes that Atticus was right when she notices Mrs. Dubose’s gentle side.

To Kill a Mockingbird is such a great novel because Harper Lee’s storytelling abilities are very moving, and she could play with your emotions at all the surprises, warm moments, and downturns in the book. To Kill a Mockingbird is a stirring book. For example, the cross-examination scene had a lot of tension in it and the moment when Dill secretly arrives without the knowing of his aunt had me flabbergasted. The dialogue of the book was very funny and filled with rich Southern culture. I think that it is loved by so many people because people could personally relate to To Kill a Mockingbird, which is an intimate account of the southern life, racial inequality and family. Harper Lee’s detailed and heart-warming writing brings the character of Atticus to life by observing him through the eyes of his daughter, making him an utmost idyllic, unforgettable character.

“… As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.”
Atticus Finch

 

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Atticus Finch

 

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