The Diary of Anne Frank, Act Two, continued

 

SCENE 2

It is evening, after supper. From outside we hear the sound of children playing. The ďgrown-ups,Ē with the exception of MR. VAN DAAN, are all in the main room. MRS. FRANK is doing some mending. MRS. VAN DAAN is reading a fashion magazine. MR. FRANK is going over business accounts. DUSSEL, in his dentistís jacket, is pacing up and down, impatient to get into his bedroom. MR. VAN DAAN is upstairs working on a piece of embroidery in an embroidery frame. 
In his room PETER is sitting before the mirror, smoothing his hair. As the scene goes on, he puts on his tie, brushes his coat and puts it on, preparing himself meticulously for a visit from ANNE. On his wall are now hung some of ANNEís motion picture stars. 
In her room ANNE too is getting dressed. She stands before the mirror in her slip, trying various ways of dressing her hair. MARGOT is seated on the sofa, hemming a skirt for ANNE to wear. 

In the main room DUSSEL can stand it no longer. He comes over, rapping sharply on the door of his and ANNEís bedroom

Anne (calling to him). No, no, Mr. Dussel! I am not dressed yet. (DUSSEL walks away, furious, sitting down and burying his head in his hands. ANNE turns to MARGOT.) How is that? How does that look? 

Margot (glancing at her briefly). Fine. 

Anne. You didnít even look. 

Margot. Of course I did. Itís fine. 

Anne. Margot, tell me, am I terribly ugly? 

Margot. Oh, stop fishing. 

Anne. No. No. Tell me. 

Margot. Of course youíre not. Youíve got nice eyes . . . and a lot of animation, and . . . 

Anne. A little vague, arenít you? 

[She reaches over and takes a brassiere out of MARGOTís sewing basket. She holds it up to herself, studying the effect in the mirror. Outside, MRS. FRANK, feeling sorry for DUSSEL, comes over, knocking at the girlsí door.

Mrs. Frank (outside). May I come in? 

Margot. Come in, Mother. 

Mrs. Frank (shutting the door behind her). Mr. Dusselís impatient to get in here. 

Anne (still with the brassiere). Heavens, he takes the room for himself the entire day. 

Mrs. Frank (gently). Anne, dear, youíre not going in again tonight to see Peter? 

Anne (dignified). That is my intention. 

Mrs. Frank. But youíve already spent a great deal of time in there today. 

Anne. I was in there exactly twice. Once to get the dictionary, and then three quarters of an hour before supper. 

Mrs. Frank. Arenít you afraid youíre disturbing him? 

Anne. Mother, I have some intuition. 

Mrs. Frank. Then may I ask you this much, Anne. Please donít shut the door when you go in. 

Anne. You sound like Mrs. Van Daan! (She throws the brassiere back in MARGOTís sewing basket and picks up her blouse, putting it on.

Mrs. Frank. No. No. I donít mean to suggest anything wrong. I only wish that you wouldnít expose yourself to criticism . . . that you wouldnít give Mrs. Van Daan the opportunity to be unpleasant. 

Anne. Mrs. Van Daan doesnít need an opportunity to be unpleasant! 

Mrs. Frank. Everyoneís on edge, worried about Mr. Kraler. This is one more thing . . . 

Anne. Iím sorry, Mother. Iím going to Peterís room. Iím not going to let Petronella Van Daan spoil our friendship. 

[MRS. FRANK hesitates for a second, then goes out, closing the door after her. She gets a pack of playing cards and sits at the center table, playing solitaire. In ANNEís room MARGOT hands the finished skirt to ANNE. As ANNE is putting it on, MARGOT takes off her high-heeled shoes and stuffs paper in the toes so that ANNE can wear them.

Margot (to ANNE). Why donít you two talk in the main room? Itíd save a lot of trouble. Itís hard on Mother, having to listen to those remarks from Mrs. Van Daan and not say a word. 

Anne. Why doesnít she say a word? I think itís ridiculous to take it and take it. 

Margot. You donít understand Mother at all, do you? She canít talk back. Sheís not like you. Itís just not in her nature to fight back. 

Anne. Anyway . . . the only one I worry about is you. I feel awfully guilty about you. (She sits on the stool near MARGOT, putting on MARGOTís high-heeled shoes.

Margot. What about? 

Anne. I mean, every time I go into Peterís room, I have a feeling I may be hurting you. (MARGOT shakes her head.) I know if it were me, Iíd be wild. Iíd be desperately jealous, if it were me. 

Margot. Well, Iím not. 

Anne. You donít feel badly? Really? Truly? Youíre not jealous? 

Margot. Of course Iím jealous . . . jealous that youíve got something to get up in the morning for . . . But jealous of you and Peter? No. 

[ANNE goes back to the mirror.

Anne. Maybe thereís nothing to be jealous of. Maybe he doesnít really like me. Maybe Iím just taking the place of his cat . . . (She picks up a pair of short white gloves, putting them on.) Wouldnít you like to come in with us? 

Margot. I have a book. 

[The sound of the children playing outside fades out. In the main room DUSSEL can stand it no longer. He jumps up, going to the bedroom door and knocking sharply.

Dussel. Will you please let me in my room! 

Anne. Just a minute, dear, dear Mr. Dussel. (She picks up her motherís pink stole and adjusts it elegantly over her shoulders, then gives a last look in the mirror.) Well, here I go . . . to run the gantlet. (She starts out, followed by MARGOT.)

Dussel (as she appearsósarcastic). Thank you so much. 

[DUSSEL goes into his room. ANNE goes toward PETERís room, passing MRS. VAN DAAN and her parents at the center table.

Mrs. Van Daan. My God, look at her! (ANNE pays no attention. She knocks at PETERís door.) I donít know what good it is to have a son. I never see him. He wouldnít care if I killed myself. (PETER opens the door and stands aside for ANNE to come in.) Just a minute, Anne. (She goes to them at the door.) Iíd like to say a few words to my son. Do you mind? (PETER and ANNE stand waiting.) Peter, I donít want you staying up till all hours tonight. Youíve got to have your sleep. Youíre a growing boy. You hear? 

Mrs. Frank. Anne wonít stay late. Sheís going to bed promptly at nine. Arenít you, Anne? 

Anne. Yes, Mother . . . (To MRS. VAN DAAN) May we go now? 

Mrs. Van Daan. Are you asking me? I didnít know I had anything to say about it. 

Mrs. Frank. Listen for the chimes, Anne dear. 

[The two young people go off into PETERís room, shutting the door after them.] 

Mrs. Van Daan (to MRS. FRANK). In my day it was the boys who called on the girls. Not the girls on the boys.  

Mrs. Frank. You know how young people like to feel that they have secrets. Peterís room is the only place where they can talk. 

Mrs. Van Daan. Talk! Thatís not what they called it when I was young. 

[MRS. VAN DAAN goes off to the bathroom. MARGOT settles down to read her book. MR. FRANK puts his papers away and brings a chess game to the center table. He and MRS. FRANK start to play. In PETERís room, ANNE speaks to PETER, indignant, humiliated.

Anne. Arenít they awful? Arenít they impossible? Treating us as if we were still in the nursery. 

[She sits on the cot. PETER gets a bottle of pop and two glasses.

Peter. Donít let it bother you. It doesnít bother me. 

Anne. I suppose you canít really blame them . . . they think back to what they were like at our age. They donít realize how much more advanced we are. . . . When you think what wonderful discussions weíve had! . . . Oh, I forgot. I was going to bring you some more pictures. 

Peter. Oh, these are fine, thanks. 

Anne. Donít you want some more? Miep just brought me some new ones. 

Peter. Maybe later. (He gives her a glass of pop and, taking some for himself, sits down facing her.) 

Anne (looking up at one of the photographs). I remember when I got that . . . I won it. I bet Jopie that I could eat five ice-cream cones. Weíd all been playing ping-pong . . . We used to have heavenly times . . . weíd finish up with ice cream at the Delphi or the Oasis, where Jews were allowed . . . thereíd always be a lot of boys . . . weíd laugh and joke . . . Iíd like to go back to it for a few days or a week. But after that I know Iíd be bored to death. I think more seriously about life now. I want to be a journalist . . . or something. I love to write. What do you want to do? 

Peter. I thought I might go off someplace . . . work on a farm or something . . . some job that doesnít take much brains. 

Anne. You shouldnít talk that way. Youíve got the most awful inferiority complex. 

Peter. I know Iím not smart. 

Anne. That isnít true. Youíre much better than I am in dozens of things . . . arithmetic and algebra and . . . well, youíre a million times better than I am in algebra. (With sudden directness) You like Margot, donít you? Right from the start you liked her, liked her much better than me. 

Peter (uncomfortably). Oh, I donít know. 

[In the main room MRS. VAN DAAN comes from the bathroom and goes over to the sink, polishing a coffeepot.

Anne. Itís all right. Everyone feels that way. Margotís so good. Sheís sweet and bright and beautiful and Iím not. 

Peter. I wouldnít say that. 

Anne. Oh, no, Iím not. I know that. I know quite well that Iím not a beauty. I never have been and never shall be. 

Peter. I donít agree at all. I think youíre pretty. 

Anne. Thatís not true! 

Peter. And another thing. Youíve changed . . . from at first, I mean. 

Anne. I have? 

Peter. I used to think you were awful noisy. 

Anne. And what do you think now, Peter? How have I changed? 

Peter. Well . . . er . . . youíre . . . quieter. 

[In his room DUSSEL takes his pajamas and toilet articles and goes into the bathroom to change.] 

Anne. Iím glad you donít just hate me. 

Peter. I never said that. 

Anne. I bet when you get out of here, youíll never think of me again. 

Peter. Thatís crazy. 

Anne. When you get back with all of your friends, youíre going to say . . . now what did I ever see in that Mrs. Quack Quack. 

Peter. I havenít got any friends. 

Anne. Oh, Peter, of course you have. Everyone has friends. 

Peter. Not me. I donít want any. I get along all right without them. 

Anne. Does that mean you can get along without me? I think of myself as your friend. 

Peter. No. If they were all like you, itíd be different. 

[He takes the glasses and the bottle and puts them away. There is a secondís silence and then ANNE speaks, hesitantly, shyly.] 

Anne. Peter, did you ever kiss a girl? 

Peter. Yes. Once. 

Anne. (to cover her feelings). That pictureís crooked. (PETER goes over, straightening the photograph.) Was she pretty? 

Peter. Huh? 

Anne. The girl that you kissed. 

Peter. I donít know. I was blindfolded. (He comes back and sits down again.) It was at a party. One of those kissing games. 

Anne (relieved). Oh. I donít suppose that really counts, does it? 

Peter. It didnít with me. 

Anne. Iíve been kissed twice. Once a man Iíd never seen before kissed me on the cheek when he picked me up off the ice and I was crying. And the other was Mr. Koophuis, a friend of Fatherís, who kissed my hand. You wouldnít say those counted, would you? 

Peter. I wouldnít say so. 

Anne. I know almost for certain that Margot would never kiss anyone unless she was engaged to them. And Iím sure too that Mother never touched a man before Pim. But I donít know . . . things are so different now . . . What do you think? Do you think a girl shouldnít kiss anyone except if sheís engaged or something? Itís so hard to try to think what to do, when here we are with the whole world falling around our ears and you think . . . well . . . you donít know whatís going to happen tomorrow and . . . What do you think? 

Peter. I suppose itíd depend on the girl. Some girls, anything they doís wrong. But others . . . well . . . it wouldnít necessarily be wrong with them. (The carillon starts to strike nine oíclock.) Iíve always thought that when two people . . . 

Anne. Nine oíclock. I have to go. 

Peter. Thatís right. 

Anne (without moving). Good night. 

[There is a secondís pause; then PETER gets up and moves toward the door.

Peter. You wonít let them stop you coming? 

Anne. No. (She rises and starts for the door.) Sometime I might bring my diary. There are so many things in it that I want to talk over with you. Thereís a lot about you. 

Peter. What kind of thing? 

Anne. I wouldnít want you to see some of it. I thought you were a nothing, just the way you thought about me. 

Peter. Did you change your mind, the way I changed my mind about you? 

Anne. Well . . . Youíll see . . . 

[For a second ANNE stands looking up at PETER, longing for him to kiss her. As he makes no move, she turns away. Then suddenly PETER grabs her awkwardly in his arms, kissing her on the cheek. ANNE walks out dazed. She stands for a minute, her back to the people in the main room. As she regains her poise, she goes to her mother and father and MARGOT, silently kissing them. They murmur their good nights to her. As she is about to open her bedroom door, she catches sight of MRS. VAN DAAN. She goes quickly to her, taking her face in her hands and kissing her, first on one cheek and then on the other. Then she hurries off into her room. MRS. VAN DAAN looks after her and then looks over at PETERís room. Her suspicions are confirmed.

Mrs. Van Daan (she knows). Ah hah! 

[The lights dim out. The curtain falls on the scene. In the darkness ANNEís voice comes, faintly at first and then with growing strength.

Anneís Voice. By this time we all know each other so well that if anyone starts to tell a story, the rest can finish it for him. Weíre having to cut down still further on our meals. What makes it worse, the rats have been at work again. Theyíve carried off some of our precious food. Even Mr. Dussel wishes now that Mouschi was here. Thursday, the twentieth of April, nineteen forty-four. Invasion fever is mounting every day. Miep tells us that people outside talk of nothing else. For myself, life has become much more pleasant. I often go to Peterís room after supper. Oh, donít think Iím in love, because Iím not. But it does make life more bearable to have someone with whom you can exchange views. No more tonight. P.S. . . . I must be honest. I must confess that I actually live for the next meeting. Is there anything lovelier than to sit under the skylight and feel the sun on your cheeks and have a darling boy in your arms? I admit now that Iím glad the Van Daans had a son and not a daughter. Iíve outgrown another dress. Thatís the third. Iím having to wear Margotís clothes after all. Iím working hard on my French and am now reading La Belle Nivernaise. 

[As she is saying the last lines, the curtain rises on the scene. The lights dim on as ANNEís voice fades out.]                                                                              

 

Click here to navigate through Act 2

Scene 1,  

Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, 

and Homework.

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