Character Analysis for Maus by Art Speigleman

Topics: The Holocaust, World War II, Family Pages: 7 (2020 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Character List- round or flat
Art Spiegelman- r
* Art Spiegelman is the author and narrator of Maus, and also one of the story's main characters. * Born in Stockholm after the Holocaust, he is the only surviving child of Vladek and Anja Spiegelman. * He is married to Francoise, a French woman who converted to Judaism upon their engagement. * Maus centers around two primary narratives: Vladek's experiences as a Jew in World War II Poland, and Art's relationship with his aging father. * When the story opens, Art lives in New York and does not see his father very often, though he lives only a short distance away in Queens. * But as Art begins to draw this story about Vladek's Holocaust experiences, he begins to visit his father more and more frequently. * Their relationship is strained, as Vladek's gruff demeanor and unwillingness to spend money routinely infuriate his son. * Art is filled with complex feelings towards his father ranging from admiration for his survival in Auschwitz, to frustration towards his aggravating tendencies, and guilt for his own neglect of a father who has lived through so many difficult times. * Art also has complex emotions towards the Holocaust. Though he did not live through it personally, he feels that he is constantly affected by it. * His father's personality was largely formed from his experiences in Auschwitz, and this personality in turn directly affected the way in which Art was raised.

Vladek Spiegelman- r
* Vladek is Art Spiegelman's father.
* He grew up in pre-war Poland, and much of Maus traces his experiences in the Holocaust, as told in his own words to his son. * As the story opens in 1978, he is married to his second wife, Mala. The couple does not get along * Vladek's personality is largely dominated by his Holocaust experiences. * During the Holocaust, he exhibited a spectacular resourcefulness, work ethic, and presence of mind that often enabled him to secure food, shelter, and safety for himself and his family. * He was a shrewd businessman, and in the most troubling times he saved everything of use. In 1978, he still saves everything and tries to exchange those things that he no longer needs. * Once so resourceful and competent, he is still constantly working on small projects, some of which he is incapable of completing.

Anja Spiegelman- r
* Anja is Art's mother and Vladek's first wife. The couple meets in Poland while Vladek is in a long-term relationship with another woman, Lucia Greenberg. * Always an anxious woman, she suffers an acute depression shortly after the birth of her son and spends three months recovering in a sanitarium. * She survives the Holocaust with her husband, and they immigrate to the United States a few years after the war. * Anja commits suicide in 1968, leaving both Art and Vladek in emotional turmoil. * Art's last memory of his mother is recorded in a comic called "Prisoner on the Hell Planet," in which she enters Art's room and asks him if he still loves her. His response, a terse and dismissive "sure," haunts him for years. Lolek- f

* Vladek's nephew and Uncle Herman's son.
* Lolek lives with Anja's family for much of the initial German occupation, first at Anja's father's house and then in the Srodula ghetto. * When the situation deteriorates and Vladek makes preparations to hide in a shelter until the Nazis have evacuated the town, * Lolek tells his uncle that he is tired of hiding, and he is soon transported to Auschwitz. He survives the camps and eventually becomes a college professor. Richieu Spiegelman- f

* Richieu is Vladek and Anja's first child, born in Poland in 1937. * In 1943, Vladek and Anja send him to live under the protection of Uncle Persis, where they think he will be safer. * Richieu travels with Anja's sister, Tosha;

* But soon after, Zawiercie is liquidated by the Nazis. Rather than be taken to the...
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