The Diary of Anne Frank: A Study Guide for the Play - Acts 1 & 2

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Background on the Play

This Diary of Anne Frank Play Study Guide will quiz you on the characters, conflicts, and important themes that will be important come test time. Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the play is different from the book. The play only focuses on the Franks time spent in hiding and encompasses the years in the secret annex from 1942 - 1944. Anne is a central character in the play, but the play also reveals the differing perspectives of the other characters as well. Reviewing these questions and creating meaningful answers for them that use textual support will build your knowledge of the play and adequately prepare you for future assessments.

Study Guide Questions: Act I

  1. Describe the setting of the Anne Frank play. What historical factors influenced or caused such a setting for the play?
  2. The play begins and the year is 1945. What device does the author use to tell the story of Anne and her family who were in hiding from 1942 to 1944?
  3. How did life change for Anne and other Jews after the Germans invaded Holland?
  4. What are a few of the “rules” that the Van Daan and Frank families must follow while hiding in the annex?
  5. Describe the relationships between Anne and her mother and father. How do the relationships differ? How are they similar?
  6. Describe the relationships between Peter and his parents. Compare and contrast Peter’s relationships with the connections Anne has with her parents.
  7. Anne and Peter have very different personalities. Using a Venn Diagram, map out their differences and similarities.
  8. Identify the conflicts between the Van Daans and the Franks. What is the cause for most of their quarrels?
  9. What effect does Dussel’s arrival have on the families? On Anne?
  10. What is significant about the recurring nightmares that Anne keeps having?
  11. Anne does not want to follow the path of a typical woman in the 1940s. What plans does she have for her future? What do these plans say about her character and personality?
  12. How does the information (provided by Mr. Kraler, Miep and the news radio) about the outside world add to the development of the plot?
  13. Why would celebrating Hanukkah in hiding have special meaning or significance for the Franks and Van Daans this year?
  14. What effect do the gifts that Anne made for each person have on their attitude and spirit as a whole?
  15. Why is Peter’s cat, Mouchi, a source of conflict between him and Mr. Van Daan?
  16. What event happens toward the end of Act I that causes the family to fear being discovered?

Act II

In Act II, tensions run high in the secret annex. At the end of Act I, the Franks, the Van Daans and Mr. Dussel were celebrating Hanukkah when their dinner was interupted by the noise of a thief, robbing the company below them. All inhabitants fear that the thief heard them and will report them to the Nazis for a cash reward. Act II also focuses on the budding relationship between Peter and Anne, and delves into the frustrations that both over their situation. Middle school students can relate to Anne and Peter’s troubles and this Act makes for great discussion opportunities.

Study Guide Questions:

  1. How have the Van Daans, the Franks, and Mr. Dussel changed physically and emotionally from the start of the play to the beginning of Act II?
  2. What has happened to Mouschi, Peter’s cat? What do you feel might be the possible cause of his disappearance?
  3. What are Miep’s responsibilities to the families in hiding? How does each member depend on Miep?
  4. Mr. Van Daan asks Miep to sell his wife’s fur coat. What are his motives for selling the coat? What is Mrs. Van Daan’s reaction to his request?
  5. Mr. Kraler informs Mr. Frank about a worker who is attempting to blackmail him. What information does the worker have? What does Mr. Frank recommend Mr. Kraler do about the worker?
  6. What are some of Anne’s frustrations with her situation? Why is she so upset about the War and her family’s decision to remain in hiding?
  7. Peter and Anne are opposites in personality, but why does Peter admire Anne?
  8. Mrs. Frank is frustrated about the time Anne spends with Peter. What are a few of her reasons for being frustrated? Does Anne understand her mother’s frustrations?
  9. What are Margot’s frustrations with Anne and Peter’s relationship?
  10. What would be a possible motive behind Anne’s asking Peter if he likes Margot? What is she trying to discover about Peter and his feelings for her?
  11. How does Anne feel about the War?
  12. Why is Mrs. Frank so upset with Mr. Van Daan at the beginning of Scene 3?
  13. What causes Mr. Van Daan to steal food from the families? What effect do his actions have on the others? What doesn Mrs. Van Daan state is the reason Mr. Van Daan has to steal food?
  14. D-Day is a turning point in the War. What is the effect of the D-Day announcement on the families in hiding?
  15. What causes Anne to finally admit that she has exhibited bad behavior towards her mother?
  16. The phone ringing in the company below has a significant effect on those hiding in the annex. What tone/mood words would best describe this effect?
  17. What goal has Anne set for herself concerning her writing?
  18. Describe the day the Gestapo raided the Annex. What were the individual characters reactions to the raid? Why would their be sense of relief for some?
  19. Why does Anne leave her diary behind? How does Miep save the diary?
  20. What does Mr. Frank mean when he states, “She puts me to shame” after reading Anne’s diary? What effect does the diary have on Mr. Frank? What became of the rest of the members in hiding?