Bruno Bettelheim's Criticism of The Frank Family

Bruno Bettelheim's Criticism of The Frank Family

Length: 1449 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In the essay "The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank," the author Bruno Bettelheim, distributes a different point of view on the Frank family. Bruno Bettelheim came to the United States in 1939 after spending a year in the concentration camps in Buchenwald and Dachau. He then spent the rest of his career working at the University of Chicago. Although in his essay Bruno Bettelheim says his intention is not to put down the Frank family, the majority of his essay shows him criticizing the Franks.
Bettelheim states that the Frank family did not plan and prepare properly. Bettelheim explains:
"By eulogizing how they lived in their hiding place while neglecting to examine
first whether it was a reasonable or an effective choice, we are able to ignore
the crucial lesson of their story – that such an attitude can be fatal in extreme
circumstances," (79).
This example expresses that Bettelheim believes the Frank family did not pre think their situation and that their actions created their own fate. Bettelheim claims, "The Franks' hiding place had only one entrance; it did not have any other exit. Despite this fact, during their many months of hiding, they did not try to devise one. Nor did they make other plans for escape," (80). Bettelheim obviously feels that the Frank family did not choose their hiding place well. He feels they were not making an effort to survive because they had no escape. Again, Bettelheim repeatedly criticizes the Frank family for not having planned and prepared themselves better.
Bettelheim canvases that Mr. Frank did not do all he could to protect his family. Bettelheim suggests:
"There is little doubt that the Franks, who were able to provide themselves with so
much while arranging for going into hiding, and even while hiding, could have
provided themselves with some weapons had they wished.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Bruno Bettelheim's Criticism of The Frank Family." 23 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Memory Of The Frank Family Essay

- Miep Gies wrote Anne Frank Remembered to honor the memory of the Frank family, to show what happened to Jews during World War II, and what she did to hide the Frank family. Gies was asked to write about her experience in the war, but Miep also wanted to consider how Anne Frank played such an enormous role in Miep’s life; Gies wanted to add the impact of how Anne’s diary affected people into her book. The book is the first-hand account of the persecution of Jews. Miep was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909....   [tags: Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, Miep Gies]

Research Papers
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Media Criticism of Modern Family

- Introduction: In 2009, ABC aired the first episode of Modern Family, a show about three families who are all related. Since then the show has become a huge success as audience’s find enjoyment in watching the characters as they face everyday trials and tribulations. Each episode runs for a half hour and takes place in a California suburb. The producer’s center the plot on a specific controversial issue in which the characters are forced to confront and handle, as well as resolve and give their reactions prior to the shows ending....   [tags: Social Issues, Modern Family]

Research Papers
3061 words (8.7 pages)

Relationship Between Bruno And Shmuel Essay

- There are many examples of interpersonal relationships throughout our daily lives. They can be seen when you take a walk down the street, on social media, and even in a movie. Specifically, in the movie “Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, there are many examples of interpersonal relationships. There are two relationships in particular that are great examples. The first is the one between Bruno and Shmuel. Bruno, an eight-year-old boy who is the son of a high ranking SS commander, befriends Shmuel, a Jewish boy who resides in concentration camp next to Bruno’s new house....   [tags: Family, Interpersonal relationship, Psychology]

Research Papers
855 words (2.4 pages)

The Construction of Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright Essay

- Fallingwater The prominent and imaginative Wisconsin born American architect, interior designer and author, Frank Lloyd Wright hit his architectural milestone in the mid-1930s when he designed his world-renowned master piece in Bear Run, Western Pennsylvania, “Fallingwater” also referred to as Kaufmann Residence. Owing to his unique perspective in architecture which he refers to as “organic”, the structure looks as though it sprung naturally amidst Bear Run's trees and water. Frank Lloyd Wright’s complete body of work was so broad that till date he still remains highly recognized as the greatest architect of all time....   [tags: architecture,frank lloyd, bear run]

Research Papers
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Frank Mccourt 's Memoir, Angela 's Ashes Essay

- Frank McCourt’s memoir, Angela’s Ashes, reflects on the struggles and poverty stricken life he and his family faced in Limerick, Ireland. I have also felt the struggles of living in poverty, but not as harsh as Frank and his family experienced. Family issues and hardships can sometimes leave a positive or negative effect on rising adults within their lifetime, causing detrimental and lifetime damage. During the year of 2007, my family and I faced the hardest moments of our life. We just moved from Virginia to a small town apartment in Kingstree, South Carolina, with barley any money or income to start our new lives....   [tags: Family, Mother, Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes]

Research Papers
1180 words (3.4 pages)

Shawshank Redemption By Frank Darabont Essay

- One’s ambition, when fueled by hope, can cause them to keep going when put in an adverse situation. When this occurs, it leaves a lasting effect on the individuals around them. In the film Shawshank Redemption by Frank Darabont, the main character Andy Dufrense experiences many hardships but perseveres through them using hope. Andy is placed in a situation that is out of his control and loses any hope he has at the beginning. Through the situations he faces, such as his encounters with the sisters, gaining funds for the library, and succeeding in his escape plan from the prison, Andy regains that hope which motivates his ambition to be free....   [tags: The Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont]

Research Papers
1111 words (3.2 pages)

The Incredible Life of Anne Frank Essay

- It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.—Anne Frank, July 15th, 1944. Anne Frank was many things: a writer, a storyteller, a witness, and a victim, among them. A fact that many seem to forget is that she was also a human being. In a concentration camp in 1945, Anne held her dying sister Margot in her arms. Her sister died very shortly after that scene; Anne died a few days later....   [tags: Anne Frank Essays]

Research Papers
2429 words (6.9 pages)

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt Essay

- Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt Life can be hard. A hard life though without hope can be devastating. The first 19 years of life for Frank McCourt, the author of the 364 page biography Angela's Ashes, were very difficult and full of change. Originally published in 1996, Angela's Ashes shows the reader the life of a poor Irish Catholic family through the eyes of a young boy. Frank McCourt was born in New York in the 1930's, but his family moved back to Ireland when he was an infant and most of his story is set in Limerick....   [tags: Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes]

Free Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt Essay

- Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Thus begins the highly celebrated memoir by the name of Angela's Ashes, written by Frank McCourt. In this book Frank McCourt writes about his childhood, how his parents meet in New York and then decide to return to Ireland....   [tags: Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes]

Free Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

Anne Frank Essay

- Anne Frank was born in Germany on June 12, 1929. She lived with her father Otto and mother Edith Frank. Anne's sister, Margo was three years older. Anne loved Margo very much. It was very happy and really good family. The sisters studied in good school and they had Catholic, Protestant and Jewish friend. But in March 1933, the National Socialist party was elected and after that we can see real descrimination. All jews had a spesial sign that they are jewish people. And other people couldn't talk with them at all....   [tags: Diary Anne Frank]

Free Essays
1400 words (4 pages)

Related Searches

Had they had a gun,
Mr. Frank could have shot down at least one or two of the "green police" who
come for them (79).
Bettelheim scrutinizes Mr. Frank for not having a weapon to protect his family and fight against the Nazis. Mr. Frank, in Bettelheim's eyes did nothing to help his family or himself and for this reason Bettelheim believes that the Frank family is not heroic but yet a failure. Bettelheim looks down upon Mr. Frank by saying:
Still, although one must assume that Mr. Frank would have fought courageously, as
we know he did when a soldier in the First World War, it is not everybody who can
plan to kill those who are bent on killing him, although many who would not be
ready to contemplate doing so would be willing to kill those who are bent on
murdering not only them but also their wives and little daughters (80).
Bettelheim here, for the most part, is calling Mr. Frank a coward. He is putting him down for not using violence to solve his problems. Bettelheim feels the Mr. Frank, being the man of the family, should have fought to protect his wife and daughters and because of the outcome Mr. Frank is a disappointment.
Some people might say that Bettelheim, in fact, is not criticizing the Frank family. Here Bettelheim states, "It would be very wrong to take apart so humane and moving a story, which aroused so much well-merited compassion for gentle Anne Frank and her tragic fate," (78). Here Bettelheim tricks the reader into believing he is truly not putting down the Franks and explaining that he understands both sides. He then comes back with saying that the Frank family's attitude may have been what led to their destruction. Bettelheim is manipulating the reader into believing he is not scrutinizing the Franks. Bettelheim then suggests:
"This is not mentioned as a criticism that the Frank family did not plan or behave
along similar lines. A family has every right to arrange their life as they wish or
think best, and to take the risks they want to take. My point is not to criticize what
the Franks did, but only the universal admiration of their way of coping, or rather
of not coping," (81).
Bettelheim here claims he is not criticizing the Franks but yet then comes back explaining why Marga, a survivor, should have received more credit then Anne. Bettelheim repeatedly keeps stating he is not criticizing the Franks and some may agree however, some people may see beyond this.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank are accused of valuing family unity more than the life of their child. Bettelheim shares:
"Little Anne, too, wanted only to go on with life as usual, and what else could she
have done but fall in with the pattern her parents created for her existence? But
hers was not a necessary fate, much less a heroic one; it was a terrible but also a
senseless fate. Anne had a good chance to survive, as did many Jewish children in
Holland. But she would have had to leave her parents and go to live with a gentile
Dutch family, posing as their own child, something her parents would have had to
arrange for her," (79).
Bettelheim is now blaming the parents for not trying different methods to help Anne survive. He is criticizing them because he believes they did nothing to help their family or the whole society. Bettelheim claims:
"The desire of the Anne Frank's parents not to interrupt their intimate family
living, and their inability to plan more effectively for their survival, reflect the
failure of all too many others faced with the threat of Nazi terror. It is a failure that
deserves close examination because of the inherent warnings it contains for us, the
living," (82).
The parents here are attacked by Bettelheim for wanting to keep their family together and for not taking more of a risk. Bettelheim truly believes that the Franks should have known to separate and that they would have had a better chance to survive.
In conclusion, Bettelheim spends the majority of his essay criticizing the Frank family. He believes the Frank family is not a family people should look up to and that they are a disappointment to the society. Throughout his essay Bettelheim tries to say he is not criticizing the Franks but yet after he negatively critiques every move the Frank family made I think that it is blatant to what he is doing. Bruno Bettelheim criticizes the Frank family, in the essay "The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank."
Return to