14 February 2012
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
Maus is a novel, written by Art Spiegelman that depicts the life of his father, Vladek, a survivor of the Holocaust, and the struggles he went through to make it home to his wife, Anja. Vladek’s story is a detailed account of his journey from Poland to Auschwitz camp in Germany. However, not only does Spiegelman’s novel tell of Vladek’s life, but it also tells of his own, and his internal struggle with guilt, and regret for turning his father’s somewhat heroic account into a paycheck.
The Holocaust is one event that almost everyone in the world knows about. This is why a reader can easily relate to Maus. Although it may not directly “hit home,” the Holocaust can pull anyone’s heartstrings. Being in a religion class, and learning about Judaism made it a lot easier to understand the background of Vladek’s faith in his religion, but there were many aspects of the book that I already knew about. Maus presented many ideas in new ways, and seeing Spiegelman’s detailed pictures helped make his point real. I was always aware that a major aspect of the Judaic religion was the idea of the Jews having a purpose of suffering on Earth to have rewards in Heaven, and I have studied the gruesome details of the Holocaust my entire life, but seeing images that directly tell Vladek’s story give suffering a completely different meaning. The Jews suffered in ways that would make anyone consider throwing religion out the door the first few weeks they went without food, but the Jews in the Holocaust always relied on God, and trusted him to end their misery. This is the perfect example of religion’s influence on society, and a person’s reasoning. Their motive and drive was led by their knowledge of who their God was (Theology). The Jews knew their God was benevolent, and had a purpose for everything, and this probably made it easier for the Jews to cope with their circumstances. One of the most prevalent illustrations...