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The Diary of Anne Frank Notes on Characters

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(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)

The Diary of Anne Frank Major Characters

Anne Frank: Anne Frank is the narrator and the writer of the diary. She is thirteen when she begins writing. Anne is very outspoken, and before moving into the Secret Annex, she was very popular at school with both the boys and the girls. She loves to read and to study, and she wants to be a writer when she grows up.

Margot Frank: Anne’s sister, Margot is three years older than Anne, and seems quieter and more serious than Anne. She, too, keeps a diary. She and Anne grow closer throughout the course of their hiding, but it is with Peter that Anne shares her hopes and fears. Margot gets on better with their parents, and Anne feels pressure to be good and sweet like her.

Daddy (Otto Frank): Anne’s father is the manager of a firm before they go into hiding. He is the one who arranges for their hiding place. He is modest, quiet, and generally low-key. She has a very close relationship with him and gives him the nickname 'Pim.' He teaches her English, French, and algebra, among other subjects, and she loves to learn.

Mummy (Edith Frank): Anne is not nearly as close with her mother as she is with her father. She finds her mother cold and often condescending. She has an idea of what the perfect mother should be—and Mummy does not fit the image. It upsets her that Mummy always takes Margot’s side, and seems to prefer her.

Peter Van Daan: Peter Van Daan is the fifteen-year-old son of the Van Daan family, the other family who is hiding in the Secret Annex with the Franks. Anne at first finds him boring and weak, but they begin to talk, and to open up to each other, and they form a strong bond. Anne falls in love with Peter, and he probably falls in love with her in return. He gives her her first kiss. Eventually, though, she gets frustrated with him because he does not like religion, and because she feels like he is clinging to her. He does not even try to improve his weak nature, because he finds it easier not to make the effort. Anne, who finds herself in a constant state of internal conflict and self-improvement, cannot respect this.

Petronella Van Daan: Mrs. Van Daan is one of the eight people hiding in the Secret Annex. She is Peter’s mother. She is desperately jealous of the bond between Anne and her son, and she wishes that he would talk to her more. She and Anne do not get along at all. She criticizes Anne for being so outspoken, and Anne writes of Mrs. Van Daan frequently in the diary to complain about how spoiled and frivolous she is and how she flirts with Mr. Frank. However, at one point, Anne notices that she is easier to talk to than Mummy, because she is not cold.

Hans Van Daan : Mr. Van Daan is Peter’s father. He is one of the adults who often criticizes Anne.

Albert Dussel: Mr. Dussel shares Anne’s room. He enters the Secret Annexe last. He was a dentist before going into hiding. At first, Anne likes him, but then he shows his true colors and is close-minded and stubborn and criticizes her. Sometimes she does things intentionally to annoy him.

Minor Characters

Jopie de Waal: One of Anne’s best girl friends before she goes into hiding.

Miep Gies: Married to Henk Gies, she helps hide the Franks, Van Daans, and Dussel in her warehouse. She is cheerful and often brings them gifts. At Christmas, she decorates a basket and fills it with presents.

Peter Wessel: Peter Wessel is a young man on whom Anne has big crush. She fantasizes about marrying him and dreams of him touching her cheek. She hopes that they will find each other again one day when she gets out of hiding.

Henk: Henk is Miep’s husband.

Koophuis: Koophuis is one of the men that Anne’s father works with at his firm. He has various abdominal operations while they are in hiding, and is often unable to visit them for weeks at a time.

Elli: Elli is the typist at Anne’s father’s office, where they are hiding. She helps bring them food, and visits them often. She is very cheerful.

Kraler: Kraler is one of the men that Anne’s father works with at his firm.

Lies Goosens: Lies Goosens is one of Anne’s best friends before she goes into hiding. She is also Jewish. Anne dreams of her, and feels terrible remorse for ever having judged her. She feels powerless to help Lies, and wonders why she has been chosen to live while Lies has been sent off to a concentration camp.

Sanne Houtman: Sanne Houtman is one of Anne’s best friends before she goes into hiding.

Granny: Granny is Otto Frank’s mother. She comes to live with the Franks when they first move to Holland, and she dies there before the diary begins. Anne still thinks of her often, and she misses her very much. She has a dream of Granny, and feels intense guilt and remorse for how lonely Granny must have been and how much she must have suffered.

Grandmother: Grandmother is Mummy’s mother.

Keptor: Keptor is Anne’s math teacher. He gives her extra work for talking during class, until she eventually wins him over with her witty essays and becomes one of his favored students.

Harry Goldberg: Harry Goldberg is a sixteen-year-old boy who likes Anne. He walks her to school every day and even comes to meet her parents. He has been going out with a dull girl named Fanny, but he forgets about her when he gets to know Anne. His grandparents think that Anne is too young for him, and want him to date Fanny. He goes behind his grandparents’ backs to date Anne, and also to attend meetings of the Zionist movement.

Fanny: Fanny was going out with Harry Goldberg, but he broke off the relationship when he started to spend time with Anne.

Vossen: Vossen is another one of Otto Frank’s business associates. He is diagnosed with cancer while they are in the Secret Annexe.

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