Tragedy In Maus Art Spiegelman

1633 Words7 Pages
In the graphic novel, Maus, Art Spiegelman illustrates the life of his father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Holocaust survivor. While regularly visiting his father’s home in Rego Park, Spiegelman interviews his father as he explains his experience in the Holocaust with the purpose of illustrating and sharing his story. Spiegelman incorporates lots of detail when sharing his father’s story, including the past and the present which allows the readers to understand the effects of the tragedy on Vladek’s life. As the story opens, Vladek is currently living with his current wife, Mala, and throughout the story it is evident that they do not have a strong relationship, in comparison to his first wife, Anja. Furthermore, throughout the novel, Artie presents…show more content…
A primary example is when Artie goes to visit his father once again, he notices his father counting pills. Artie advises him that he is taking too many, to which Vladek replies that he “must fight to save myself” (Spiegelman, 1986, p.26). This mindset and determination is linked to the same mindset he carried throughout the Holocaust. In other words, he still recalls his fight for survival and feels that he still needs to save himself from the trauma. This quotation demonstrates how the Holocaust continues to have an effect on Vladek’s behaviour. In addition, Vladek’s hoarding of materials is another example of how the Holocaust has affected his behaviour. While Vladek and Artie are walking to the bank, Vladek picks up a wire to take with him. Artie replies that he is “always picking up trash, can’t [Vladek] just buy wire” (Spiegelman, 1986, p.116). Vladek has become used to finding materials for survival that this behaviour became normal and acceptable for him. He has also become extremely conservative and obsessed with saving food and money, to the extent where it affects his personality as well as both Mala and Artie. However, Vladek is unaware that his behaviour is affecting them negatively. For example, Vladek’s cheap behaviour makes him believe that Mala is just after him for his money, which causes them to constantly argue. According to a study, author Sharon Kangisser Cohen states that “survivors are unaware of how some of their behaviour is perceived and interpreted” (2010). Moreover, the fact that Vladek burned one of his most valuable possessions, Anja’s journals, shows how emotionally unstable and affected he is from the war. Since we evidently see Vladek’s cheap behaviour and constant saving shows how hoarding has become a behaviour he practiced and continued to face since the Holocaust. Therefore, by burning Anja’s journals, it is clear to see

More about Tragedy In Maus Art Spiegelman

Open Document