Satisfactory Essays
Throughout the book Maus, we get to see a glimpse of the suffering Vladek went through during the Holocaust. Starting off before the war started we see the Vladek is living a care free life in Poland. He is described as a handsome bachelor with many woman at his fingertips. After he decides to settle down with Anja, his live becomes even more worry free. Vladek is a family man through and through, and would do anything for them. This, to me, is his defining feature before the Holocaust. Even though he states later in the book that the camps were every man for himself, you can tell that Vladek truly doesn’t believe in that. He tries time and time again to get his family and friends to safety even after numerous attempts go poorly. When he gets separated from them, he makes sure they are doing fine, and puts himself in positions to gain better treatment of his few friends. Even after the war Vladek is still the same family driven man he was before. He wants his son Art to live with him so they are close together, and he takes Mala back just for the company. Vladek doesn’t want his son to leave, since he knows he might not ever see him again due to his health. This is the same type of feeling he felt in the camps, when he saw his family get torn apart. As for this says about society is that people who people like Vladek would survived the Holocaust, value family and friends even more. Many people, especially ones in the Jewish community, lost multiple generations of family, and those who survived value family higher than anything else. Another way that the Holocaust changed Vladek is with his neurotic behavior. Before the war, he was carefree with his money and belongings. He lived the lavish lifestyle and did not worry about what wo...

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...ough. He also compares himself with his dead brother because he thinks his dad favors him since he lived through the same experiences. This survivor’s guilt is even seen in his father, since he takes out his guilt of surviving, when many of his friends and family did not, on his son. Guilt is one of the driving factors of this book, and shows how the greater society feels towards the Holocaust. Society feels guilty for not doing anything to stop the Nazis. Many people knew what was going on, yet they didn’t stop them. Even people in the Jewish community heard of what was happening, but didn’t believe them. Now after everything is said and done, the feel guilty for what happened. Just as Art feels guilty for not living through it, society as a whole feels guilty for not stepping in. No one truly survived the Holocaust since the guilt is constantly weighing on them.
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