1. What did you think was the message of the book? Why? Make reference to details from the book in your answer.
The author clearly states in the graphic novel that “I-I never thought of reducing it to a message I mean. I wasn’t trying to CONVICE anybody of anything.” Spiegelman represents a struggle to create meaning out of both the Holocaust and what happened to his father afterwards. Art says to Francoise at one point: “I can’t even make any sense of out my relationship with my father...How am I supposed to make any sense out of Auschwitz?...of the holocaust?” (p. 174). This graphic novel is really just him trying to convey and document his father’s story in the easiest way for him, which is through the medium of comics.
2. Describe both Art and his father. What do you learn about each of them as characters? Why is their relationship so fraught?
Both Art and Vladek are very distant from one another. There is a lot of tension, mostly coming from Vladek’s compulsive behavior and strange actions which annoy Art. His actions are very hard for Art to comprehend as he did not experience what his father did during the holocaust. The impact horrific events such as the Holocaust had on his life ultimately affected him and his relationships with other individuals this could be due to being distant from family and friend for so long, and in that situation everyone only looked out for themselves. Finally Art stated “I can’t even make any sense of out my relationship with my father...How am I supposed to make any sense out of Auschwitz?...of the holocaust? “
3. What do you think the novel shows about the concepts of;
Firstly Vladek experience survivor’s guilt, this is how he witnessed so many de...
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...chapter, and particularly the final page? Why did Spiegelman close the book in this manner?
The final chapter was one of the most personal chapters, this is particularly evident on the final page as Vladek does not want to continue the story, it is symbolic of the end of the story by putting his to tomb stone showing the end of his life. This ultimately shows he story didn’t end until he died. Also in the final chapter he put an actual picture of himself which sort of brings the book back to reality showing that it is real. Spiegelman closed the book in this manner to again show how personal the experience were and how much they impact him and his family.
7. Did the book raise any other questions or ideas for you? What were these?
It didn’t really raise any questions that can’t already be answered,
• Even though the Nazis were told to do it why would they do it?
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