Also known as the Diary of Anne Frank, the book the Diary of a Young Girl is a diary of a little girl named Anne Frank. Anne Frank wrote this diary while in Amsterdam hiding from the Nazis when they took power from the Germans. She moved to Holland together with her family since Jews could not stay together with the Nazis They later moved to Prinsengrant building since Hitler had invaded Holland. Life was very hard for them since they were not allowed to walk around freely. Anne Frank was forced to spend most of her time reading books and writing stories including making entries in her diary.
The diary contained her life encounters while hiding from the Nazis. She confessed it through her statements that they were better of in the hide out that the rest of the people. ” If I just think of how we live here, I usually come to the conclusion that it is a paradise compared with how other Jews who are not in hiding must be living,” (Frank 71). She later died of typhus when she was moved in a concentration camp. Her diary was found by Miep Gies and given to her father since he was the only survivor in their family (Miep and Leslie 29). This book reveals the life of a young innocent girl who was forced into slavery at a very tender age. Anne and her family were hiding from the Nazis since they were Jews. Anne Frank is the protagonist in the book and through her writings; she reveals her suffering in the holocaust.
The book of Negroes is a novel written by a Canadian writer called Lawrence Hill. The novel has been published as Someone Knows my Name in New Zealand, United States and Australia. The protagonist in the book is an 11 year old child named Aminata Dialto. Aminata was abducted from her village in West Africa and was transferred to South Carolina where she served as a slave. Her parents were brutally killed before her abduction and so she was taken into slavery alone. Aminata was able to gain her freedom and went back to her home village in West Africa “ I have escaped violent endings even as they have surrounded me” (Hill 4)
In a world meant for freedom and equality, both protagonists of the novels The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill, and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank were stripped of humanity, fell victim to ethnic supremacy and loss of their adolescence lives. The protagonists were stripped of humanity because, they had to suffer a lot in their early years yet they were very innocent children who deserved a happy life of freedom. They started suffering at a very tender age. Anne Frank and Aminata went through horrific sights in their lives. Anne had to stay in a holocaust without moving around while Aminata had to work under very harsh conditions as a slave. They never had the freedom to live their lives. Aminata was sold as a slave at the age of 11 years whereas Anne had to run away with her parents at the age of 13 years to hide from the Nazis because of her religion. The brutal rule of the Nazis made Anne suffer her whole life till her death. She was deprived of her freedom and the right to live freely like all other humans. On the other hand, Aminata had to serve as a slave during her childhood and her entire lifetime till her return to her home place.
The protagonists in the books did not have the chance to enjoy their childhood and adolescence lives. Aminata was a slave while Anne was in a hideout where she could not move around freely. Anne wrote her diary during her adolescence and she explains how she struggled with many teenage problems and she never got answers to her problems. She wanted her privacy and to live away from the adults but she could never get it since they shared the hiding place and therefore it was impossible. Example is that she wanted to get away from the arguments between Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan. Anne and Aminata never got to experience motherly love form their mothers ” I only look at her as a mother, and she just doesn’t succeed in being that to me; I have to be my own mother” (Frank 41).
According to Anne, her mother only had attention to her sister Margot and never cared about her. She had so many questions that she needed her mother to answer and also to give her direction but she was never there for her ” When I got older, I noticed that not all questions can be asked and that many whys can never be answered. As a result, I tried to work things out for myself ” (Frank 214).
On the other hand, Aminata lacked motherly love because she lost her mother and therefore she could not be there to direct her and love her in her adolescent life. The protagonists felt lonely and isolated all the time because they could not enjoy their lives as other teenagers with privacy and so their adolescent years were interfered with. They were both deprived of their adolescent lives.
They were restricted from doing some things. In Anne’s case, the restriction to the Jews behavior disheartened her as she felt very lonely and discriminated. They were not allowed to ride bicycles and even their own vehicles, not permitted to go shopping between 3 and 5p. m and also to enter entertainment places. They were segregated and only allowed to attend Jewish schools and this made her feel lonely. Aminata felt very lonely because she was only a slave and therefore had restrictions too and she lived under horrible conditions.
The protagonists persevered in their adversity. Aminata consoled herself that she will attain happiness and freedom one day and so she never paid attention to what was happening to her and her fellow slaves. She witnessed brutal acts on people during her travels but she ignored them with the hope that she was going to get her freedom one day and go back to her home village in West Africa. Her owner mistreated her and this can be seen by the way he calls her, “ The crazy big mouthed African” (Hill 175). In addition, they both lost their homes, freedom and identity. Aminata was referred to as ” African” or ” Negro”.
Anne and Aminata were victims of ethnic supremacy. They were discriminated because of their ethnic differences. Anne’s family were running away from the Nazis and their brutal rule because of their religion Judaism which was prohibited by the Germans while Aminata’s parents were cruelly killed while she watched then she was kidnapped and taken into slavery in South Carolina because of her color. The characters in the books both depict the hardships and struggles they went through. They both explain the cruelty and mistreatment people get due to ethnic and religious differences. Anne and her family lost their home and had to flee away from the Nazis because of their religion which is Judaism and was not accepted by the Nazis. Alternatively, Aminata was taken in slavery because of her race. Anne felt despised and discriminated as a Jew while Aminata felt segregated because of her race which had now turned her into serving as a slave.
Both protagonists struggled to find and hold onto happiness and freedom in their despair even though it was not possible. “ Whoever is happy will make others happy” (Frank 29). Anne and Aminata yearned for happiness they could not attain in their situations but they tried to find it through love and becoming literate by learning to read and write. They put away all that they went through and sough for everything that could make them happy.
The characters in the novels faced issues regarding human values and struggles for happiness. The books pose human condition questions but they do not answer them and this makes the protagonists look for ways to find the little happiness they can get through the people around them. Anne used to find happiness in the relationship she had with Fred. What consoled them most was the good relationship they both had with their fathers. In addition, the protagonist in the stories desired to be literate and that is why the decided to learn how to read and write.
The disparity in the books The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill is that in the Book of Negros, the main character escaped death in the land of her slavery and survived to tell the story of her life and what she and other Africans went through when they were slaves. Comparably, in The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, the protagonists dies and only the diary she wrote lives to explain her ordeal and how the suffered in the hands of the Germans. Anne expresses herself through her writings that she will live through them. This can be seen through these excerpts from her diary ” I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn” (Frank 177).
In conclusion, the central characters in The Diary of a Young Girl and The Book of Negros had a lot in common. First of all, Anne Frank and Aminata never lived a normal life in their childhood and adolescence like all the other children, they suffered a lot one a s a slave and the other as a hiding immigrant. One of them was abducted at 11 years while the other had to move with her parents into a hiding place at the age of 13. They lived a lonely life whereby they lacked motherly love and did not have freedom like any other adolescents but this never made them give up, they tried being happy despite all that. They protagonists decided to improve their lives by becoming literate, they went ahead to learn how to read and also to write. They both are heroines from their stories and through them, the strength of an African woman is revealed.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. Eds. Otto H. Frank and Miriam Pressler. Definitive Ed. New York: Bantam, 1997. Print.
Lawrence, Graver. An Obsession with Anne Frank. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Print.
Hill, Lawrence. The Book of Negros. New York: HarperCollins. 2007. Print.
Miep, Gies and Leslie Alison G. Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. 1987. Print.