The Van Daan Family

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In the Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich, the idea of family is uses to show the audience how war brings people of completely different backgrounds together. The Frank family and the Van Daan family were completely different, yet the shared adversity brought them together.

The respective heads of the two families, Mr. Frank and Mr. Van Daan are very different in philosophies and in mannerisms. Mr. Frank is quiet, calm, and for the most part, restrained. He is an educated man, and cares for his daughter 's schooling, even in hiding. On the other hand, Mr. Van Daan is loud, brash, and often antagonistic. He would rather satisfy his own appetite, by sneaking bread at night than be willing to be a bit hungry, and let the children have
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Mrs. Frank is kind, considerate, and cares for all of the children in the secret annex equally. She is willing to endure hardships in order that everyone in the Annex makes it out of the war alive. On the other hand, Mrs. Van Daan is vain, conceited, and cares more about keeping her husband happy than her child healthy. She is accustomed to having wealth, and finds it very hard to adjust to living in the same three rooms with seven other people. “She can usually be found caressing the fur coat her father once gave her. She places this coat above all else” She had the opportunity to leave the Netherlands long before the Nazi policies were introduced, but Mr. Van Daan tells us in Act II Scene 4 that she “could not leave your things. You couldn’t leave your furniture”. These quotes show Mrs. Van Daan’s materialism, and her selfishness. She is a very vivacious woman, and even attempted to flirt with Mr. Frank in front of both Mr. Van Daan and Mrs. Frank. The playwrights contrast the values of the two women to show that strife is a part of any group. However, Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Van Daan must work together for the common good of the group. Because the group only had a limited time after the workmen went home for the day, and when the were not able to make noise, and the dinner must be cooked, and eaten within this amount of time, it took Mrs. Frank, Mrs. Van Daan and Margot working together to be able…show more content…
Peter is two years older than Anne, and is much more reserved than her, at least when we first meet him. They do not initially get along, with Anne hiding playing practical jokes on him, and in general being herself. Soon enough, Peter and Anne bonded over Mouschi, Peter’s cat, because, as Anne says in Act I Scene 1,“I love cats. I have one... a darling little cat. But they made me leave it behind.” Peter’s cat reminds Anne of the life she had before they had to move into the Annex, and what she has to return to after the war. Anne is quite argumentative, and Peter starts to look up to Anne because she stands her ground with the grown-ups. After Anne has stood up to the Van Daans about the origin of the war, Peter tells her that she “knows just how to talk to them. You know just how to say it. I’m no good. Especially when I’m mad”. Peter looks up to Anne because of her bravery and willingness to stand up to the grownups. Conversely, Anne looks to Peter as someone who she can really discuss things with. He does not belittle her, or tell her that she should not be worrying about the things she notices are not right and just in the world where she lives. He treats her like an equal, and like someone whose ideas and thought are important and matter. The playwrights use this as yet another example how people with differing personalities were forced by war in order to work
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