A Comparison Of The Life Of Maus By Vladek Spiegelman

analytical Essay
717 words
717 words

The Holocaust is one of the most horrific and gruesome events in world history. It took a great toll on millions of lives in one way or another. One person in particular is Vladek Spiegelman, a Holocaust survivor. Maus, by Art Spiegelman, consists of two main narratives. One narrative occurs during World War II in Poland, and the other begins in the late 1970s in New York. In relation to each other these two narratives portray the past and present.Throughout the novel, we often see Art Spiegelman questioning why his father acts the way he does. Although the war is over, the events of the Holocaust continue to influence the life of Vladek. Why do we allow the past to effect the present? Vladek's personality is largely influenced by his Holocaust experience. In Maus I and II, Vladek was stubborn, selfish, and cheap because of his experiences in the Holocaust.

In the beginning of the book, Vladek is very stubborn. As a reader, you can tell he is the stubborn one in the relationship with his second wife, Mala. The relationship is strained and seemingly entirely lacking love from both ends. For example upon Artie arriving to his father’s home, Vladek makes a fuss about Mala choosing to hang Artie’s coat on a wire hanger. “A wire hanger you give him! I haven’t seen Artie in almost two years..We have plenty wooden hangers.” (Spiegelman, Vol.I, p.11) Vladek stated. Artie made a side note that “they didn’t along.” It makes me question how they ever got married or fell in love in the first place. Leading up to World War II, he exhibits none of these characteristics in his relationship with Anja, his first wife. He is kind, caring, wealthy, and charming. One day, Vladek and Anja ran into Anja’s director from school. The director stated t...

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...e most troubling times he kept everything and put it to good use. In the present, he still saves everything and tries to exchange the things that he no longer needs.

Vladek has clearly never fully recovered from the horrors of the Holocaust. Because he was once wealthy and carefree now he’s cheap and pragmatic. Once a generous businessman now he’s a selfish miser. The Holocaust affect each survivor differently. Art notes on a few separate occasions, the Holocaust cannot be the reason for all of Vladek’s behavior. “I used to think the war made him this way.” Art says to Mala. In which, she responds that "all our friends went through the camps; nobody is like him!” It may be that no survivor is like him, but it’s the way he copes with what he went through. Basically, he’s still living his life as if he were still in those concentration camps in the present time.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the holocaust took a great toll on millions of lives, and vladek spiegelman's personality is influenced by his holocaust experience.
  • Analyzes how vladek's relationship with his second wife, mala, is strained and lacking love from both ends. he is kind, caring, wealthy, and charming.
  • Analyzes how vladek shows that he is not a compassionate and understanding person. he manages to make it through the holocaust experience with luck and his wits.
  • Analyzes how vladek became cheap and stingy with food, money, and other valuables during the holocaust. he was a wise businessman who kept everything and put it to good use.
  • Analyzes how vladek has never fully recovered from the horrors of the holocaust. the holocaust affects each survivor differently.
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