Tone in Anne Frank

An extended MS Word version is available as well.Tone in Anne Frank

For this exercise, we apply the notion of tone on a much more limited basis: we isolate a few characters and look at how their word choice illustrates their particular tone. It is easier in the beginning to look for examples of tone on a small scale (i.e., looking at individual characters) than a whole selection.

Tone is ________________’s attitude toward _________________________. Writers show tone through their choice of words.

Each of the characters in Diary of Anne Frank have opinions that are colored by their personalities.

Look at the chart at right: use the following character descriptions to describe the characters.

  1. A caretaker; always worried about how her child/children do in life.
  2. Conceited and vain; used to being the center of attention.
  3. Formal and old-fashioned; not willing to change.
  4. Independent; strong-willed; stubborn; intelligent.
  5. Kind and patient; always calm.
  6. Quiet and calm; always looking on the bright side of things.
  7. Selfish and immature; impatient; doesn’t like hearing different opinions.
  8. Shy and withdrawn; not used to being the center of attention.


Personality and opinions

Tone words that show character’s opinion of a situation

Mr. Frank

Mrs. Frank


Quiet and calm; always looking on the bright side of things.

It’s a phase . . . You heard Father . . . Most girls go through it . . . they turn to their fathers at this age . . . they give all their love to their fathers. (817)


Mr. Van Daan

Mrs. Van Daan


ANNE. Why didn’t you ever come over?

PETER. I’m sort of a lone wolf. (787)

Mr. Dussel

Every night she twists and turns. I don’t sleep. I spend half my night shushing her. And now it’s nightmares! (815—scene 4, which we didn’t read)

We then use this information to write diary entries from other characters’ points of view, trying to create a tone that is appropriate for that character.


Character 1

Character 2


How does the character probably view this episode?

Words I will use to express this tone.


How does the character probably view this episode?

Words I will use to express this tone.

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