Novel Character Comparison

"Paper Hearts" and "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Otto Frank and Fania Similarities

Both Otto and Fania take on the leadership roles in their group. They make the tough decisions, serve as guidance for the others, and are or act as the parent. The two are generous and risk their lives protecting the ones they love time and time again. When Zlatka loses her sister and family, Fania immediately steps in to take care of Zlatka and be a friend similar to the way Otto welcomed the Van Daans and Dussel with open arms. Neither stopped to think twice about what they would get in return for their actions and were completely selfless.

Otto Frank and Fania Differences

Though both carry themselves in similar ways, there are some differences between the two. While Otto works to keep his family out of danger and the concentration camps, Fania is already in the Auschwitz camp. She works to keep her friends alive and safe until they can be rescued or the war ends. Fania is also much younger than Otto. Throughout the majority of the book, she is only a teenager who had to grow up fast. She is not a mother to Zlatka but is her best friend who cares for her, unlike Otto who is the father of his family. Otto grew up in a normal childhood and had a family before he was affected by the war while Fania's teenage years have known nothing different. She was only 16 years old when she was separated from her family and when the war began.

Zlatka's Birthday Card

Halfway through the book and throughout the last half, Zlatka works to create a birthday card for Fania's 20 birthday. She and her friends trade rations, steal, and bribe to get cloth, paper, pencils, and the materials to make Fania a special birthday gift. In Auschwitz, this was seen as "An act of defiance. A statement of hope. A crime punishable by death." Zlatka risked everything to make Fania feel loved on her birthday.

Zlatka made Fania the card out of thanks and love. Fania always did anything and everything she could to help Zlatka, putting herself at risk every time. Without her, Zlatka may not have survived. When Fania's birthday rolls around for the fourth time, Zlatka sees the perfect opportunity to give back.

If Zlatka had been too scared to make the card, Fania wouldn't have been given the hope and motivation she needed to keep fighting for their survival. Fania knowing that her friends have her back pushes her to keep trying and stave brave. Without the extra courage, all of the girls could have lost hope and, in the end, given up.

Fania's Birthday Card

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