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Maus by Spiegelman - Essay Example

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Instructor Date ‘Maus’ “Maus” by Spiegelman is a narrative that tells of the life and activities of Vladek, a super-natural man. Vladek is the father of Spiegelman and the latter interviews his father in order to give an account of his life…
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Maus by Spiegelman
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Download file to see previous pages In Spiegelman’s novel, Vladek is an attractive and resourceful young man living in Poland. He is a successful businessman married to the rich and talented Anja. According to Wood, Vladek and Anja had a brief courtship and were married in 1937, on Valentines Day (82) and had a son named Richieu. With the help of Anja’s father, Vladek is successful in his business pursuits until the German invasion of Poland changes the fate of Vladek and his family. As a reservist, Vladek is determined to fight for Poland against the German intrusion, albeit it is against his father’s wishes. As an inexperienced soldier, Vladek is captured in 1939 and taken to a Prisoners Of War (POW) camp together with other fighters. Spiegelman writes that the Germans claimed that the Jews are responsible for the wars in the camp (33). It is for this reason that they are separated from otherS and made to do more work. I think this is just an act of religious persecution, considering there were other people fighting for Poland and not just the Jews. When an opportunity comes up for any volunteers to replace German workers, Vladek takes up the chance. Through hard work and perseverance, Vladek is released to reunite with his family. Vladek is living with his in-laws in an extended family; nevertheless, life is no longer the same. Weine states that soon after, in 1943, Poland is divided into two sections and Jews are taken to Auschwitz and killed (29). Seeing the gravity of the situation, Vladek and Anja give Richieu to Anja’s sister so that she stay with him and her children at Zawierci. However, fearing that she and the children will be taken to Auschwitz, Anja’s sister kills herself and the children, including Richieu. One could understand that everyone in Poland was worried about their future and safety of their loved ones. However, the decision by Anja’s sister to kill herself and the children is not a solution for me. She could have at least waited and maybe she and the children could have survived the war. Vladek and Anja are hiding in a ghetto waiting for the situation to calm down. According to Spiegelman, one of Vladek’s and Anja’s friends escapes to Hungary and writes them a letter telling them that Hungary is safe (125). Together, Vladek and Anja are on their way to safety in Hungary but are both captured and taken to Auschwitz where they are separated. Weine writes that at Auschwitz, Vladek works very hard as a tinsmith, a shoemaker, and a “black worker” earning enough to feed himself (27). As the war comes to an end, Vladek is set free and he goes back to his home place in Sosnowiec, where he reunites with Anja who had been released earlier. It is a happy and miraculous reunion for Vladek and Anja, considering that everyone they knew had been killed in the war. To me, it sounds sort of fictional for the two to be the only ones to survive the war in their family. In the novel, it is apparent that Vladek and Spiegelman do not have a good relationship. According to Wood, Spiegelman feels guilty of living a better life than his parents (79). The relationship between Vladek and Spiegelman has deteriorated since Anja took her own life. Anja committed suicide after the war, primarily because she had lost Richieu. Spiegelman is furious with his father for burning Anja’s dairies about the war, after her suicide. In my opinion, Vladek is not to blame for burning the diaries; maybe he just needed closure and did not want anything that reminded him of how Anja had given up on them. At the time ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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