Term Paper: Strength of the Human Spirit

Pages: 5 (1445 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] If you read her writings, she appears to be humorous, intelligent and brave even under the worst circumstances of her life and even while narrating the most depressing ordeals. The diary covers her growth from the age of thirteen to sixteen as she matures through various experiences within these few years. Living in the annex with her family and other residents, she goes on a journey of self-discovery through her own and her family's experiences.

Every character has a depressing ending. Anne herself dies at the concentration camp at Belsen before her sixteenth birthday. Her sister Margot, the exact opposite of Anne, also dies a few weeks before Anne in the same concentration camp. Her mother, who Anne perceives to be a "bad mother" dies soon after her daughters are sent to the Belsen camp. Her fathers business associate Van Daan who actually arranges for the Frank's to live in the annex is gassed at Auschwitz. His wife, described in Anne's words as an "insufferable" creature, also dies at the camp in Belsen. Their son and Anne's first love, also disappears on a forced march with the German Army. Many more of such residents face the same fate. Otto Frank, Anne's father and her favorite character in her life as such, is the only member of the family who survives the war and is actually the one who arranges for the publication of Anne's diary and later dies in the early 1980s.

The whole book reflects the growing up of Anne Frank and her struggle to discover herself in the circumstances she grows up in. Throughout her diary, her writings question her own identity, who she is; what she wants out of life; what kind of a person is she. Seeing the plight of her family and living in an era of mass scale killing, she comes of age. She realizes the need for selflessness; the need to be brave as everyone around her, her friends, her family met agonizing deaths. She still tries to find the good in people and tries to develop her own self with goodness so that others can respect her.

She discovers the way people can behave and she tries to account for that behavior in light of the ordeal each one of them faced during that time. She faces the confusion of why she is despised by the Germans, why her being a Jew is such a big problem for her. Although during this time, she cannot really answer the questions or understand the actual gravity or danger she is in because of being a Jew, her fate as Jew and the hatred of the Nazis for the Jew is what makes this book one of the greatest eye-openers of all time. The most depressing element of this book is Anne's hope, in fact the hope of every annex resident, that they will make it through and that there will be life after the war.

There are many common elements in the two books. First and foremost, both are based on strong females as the main characters. Second, both females face unforeseen circumstances because of their heritage or birth. Third, both go through difficult and tiring times not only for themselves but for their family. Maya is a black female, faced with prejudice, hardship, torture, rape, misery and poverty. Anne is a Jewish female, faced with hatred, fear, misery, and poverty.

The contrasting factor however, is the fate of the two characters. Maya still survives; Maya makes it through. Anne however, no matter how brave or courageous she is, cannot achieve the same fate. She dies. She sees her family die all around her. Hers is a severe plight; hers is not a heritage, which lets her live her life the way she wants to. Maya still finds people to help her through. Anne does not. Anne struggles with the desire to help her family and the frustration at not being able to do so. If one compares the two books and the two characters, Anne turns out to be the more inspiring and the more depressing. Both the books however, highlight how misery and ordeal made both these women… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Strength of the Human Spirit.  (2003, November 15).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/strength-human-spirit/6761485

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"Strength of the Human Spirit."  15 November 2003.  Web.  21 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/strength-human-spirit/6761485>.

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"Strength of the Human Spirit."  Essaytown.com.  November 15, 2003.  Accessed May 21, 2019.