Obasan by Jow Kogawa

1830 Words8 Pages
Summary:

The first entry of the diary is on June 12, Anne's thirteenth birthday. She tells the story of how she woke early and then had to contain herself until seven a.m. to wake her parents and open her presents. She claims that the diary, one of those presents, is "possibly the nicest of all." She relates her list of presents, adding that she is "thoroughly spoiled," and then goes off to school with her friend Lies. On Sunday she has a birthday party with her school friends. Her mother always asks who she is going to marry, and she has managed to dissuade her from the boy she really likes, Peter Wessel. She talks about her school friends: Lies Goosens, Sanne Houtman, and Jopie de Waal. Lies and Sanne used to be her best friends, but since she started attending the Jewish Secondary School, she has become closer to Jopie.

On Saturday, June 20, Anne divulges that she wants her diary to be a friend to her--unlike her other friends, someone she can completely confide to. Although she has a loving family and lots of friends, she feels isolated and alone sometimes, . So she will call her diary "Kitty" and address it like a friend. She tells Kitty the history of her family: her parents' marriage, her 1929 birth in Frankfurt, and then, "as we are Jewish," their 1933 emigration to Holland. The rest of her family suffered under Hitler's pogroms in Germany; some of them managed to emigrate to other countries.

Harry comes to meet her parents, and Anne makes all sorts of preparations for his visit. They go out for a walk, and Harry brings Anne home ten minutes after eight o'clock. As Jews have a city-wide curfew of eight o'clock, Mr. Frank is very upset and makes Anne promise to be back in the house at ten minutes to eight from now on. Still, her family likes Harry, and Anne does as well. " Her father tells her the disturbing news that he has been planning for them to go into hiding for more than a year. Anne is horrified and asks why must he talk like that. He replies that he and Mrs. Frank will take care of it all and there is no need for her to be upset.

Analysis

In the beginning part of her diary, we meet Anne before her ordeal.

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