The holocaust was a terrible war that killed many Jewish people. Valdek was extremely lucky and he was one of the very few Jews who lived and made it through the war. Although he is still a live he will never be able to forget the terrible things the Nazis did to the Jews. The things he learnt in the concentration camps will always affect his life and after reading Maus the reader can see many different ways that the holocaust effected Valdek’s personality. It made Valdek to become extremely frugal, infuriatingly manipulative, and lastly he isn’t able to relax anymore. We see these three traits a lot throughout the book.
Vladek tries not to show that he is traumatized but you could see that the war did traumatize Valdek and you see this because he became frugal. The war really showed him how to ration and save food. Throughout the entire two books you see how frugal Valdek really is. He wanted to save wooden matches and he got really mad when he saw two open salt cans. Valdek said this to Artie and Arties wife when he found a box of cereal that Mala ate but he was not able to eat due to his heart conditions. “So, come. We’ll go now in to give back our groceries. No way! I’m not going in to return a load of open boxes and partially eaten food.” (Spiegelman 89, Maus II). Vladek even returned his unwanted, opened, and partially eaten food to the Shop-Rite. Now his cheapness is an annoyance but back then during his time in the concentration camp it was a survival tool. By being cheap he was able to keep his food and this is how he learned to survive and live longer. Vladek learned how to trade food, make bargains and deals, and also help other people out that might help him...
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...ax.” (Spiegelman 22, Maus II). This shows us that he always was running around and it bothered people because he was too anxious and that is not good.
All in all I think the war really did affect Valdek and it changed his personality and made him become frugal, infuriatingly manipulative, and lastly anxious. He hates wasting items because in the war they got small portions of food and they lost all their money and the only way to survive was by saving it all therefore Valdek is also very controlling and irritating, and you see many times in the book that Valdek bothers someone by trying to control them or doing something irritating. Finally due to the war Valdek became very anxious and was never able to sit still. Valdek became like this mainly because of the holocaust and this did not only happen to Valdek, it happened to many other Jews that survived the war.
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