The Diary of a Young Girl: Metaphor Analysis

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Metaphor Analysis

Metaphors, Similes and Symbols
It must be remembered that Anne is not self-consciously writing a literary text; she is a young girl recording her life and struggling to deal with an immensely difficult situation. However, she often uses images taken from nature to illustrate her feelings. On October 29, 1943, for example, she writes that she is miserable in the stifling atmosphere in the house. To make things worse, outside there is not a single bird to be heard. This immediately leads her into another thought, from which a simile emerges. Anne compares herself to a songbird "whose wings have been ripped off and who keeps hurling itself against the bars of its dark cage." Anne shows that she thinks like a writer, receiving an impression from the outside world and then having it pop up in her mind again in an image that illustrates something about her own life.
A few days later, she uses another image from nature to describe her situation. She sees the eight people in the annex as if they are "a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing clouds." The clouds are moving in on them in a dark mass, and above them is the peace and beauty of the blue sky. This is not the only time Anne, who obviously has a deep appreciation of nature, uses the sky as a symbol of peace and transcendence. On July 15, 1944, she writes that whenever she looks up at the sky, she feels that everything will change for the better, and that peace and tranquility will return. The sky thus becomes for her a symbol of hope.
Finally, Anne mentions several times that from the attic window she can see a chestnut tree. The chestnut tree becomes for her a measure of the seasons, a sign of the passing of time and of nature's powers of renewal. She first mentions the tree, its bare branches glistening with dew, on February 23, 1944. She mentions it again on April 18, 1944: the chestnut tree is in leaf and is starting to blossom. A few weeks later she refers to it for a third time; it is now in full bloom and even more beautiful than the previous year. As a marker of the larger passage of time, the chestnut tree is a contrast to the clock-time of day-to-day life in the annex. This time is somewhat vague for the eight residents, since in 1943 the chiming bells of the town clock outside was removed, after which the residents had no idea of the exact time, day or night.