Maus

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How Does “Maus” Explore the Theme of Survival?

In the comic style book Maus, the theme of survival is expressed in many different ways. The Holocaust was a big part of the Jews heritage and not many survived. The amount of people that did survive by hiding and other things was very small.

Luck plays a very big role throughout the book of Maus and as it did during the real life holocaust. And because of this luck, that’s why the few that survived, actually survived. Vladek was lucky as he had a good education, which allowed him to speak different languages to help him survive and was generally smarter than a lot of the others. In many occasions his survival was based on luck. It was luck when the bullet missed him at the prisoner’s camp. Also when he got kicked out of the house and found a construction site to hide in. He hid there for a while and didn’t get captured by the Nazi’s. Another example of luck is when he gets beaten up for throwing food to Anja, usually you would get killed but he was lucky enough to just get beaten up. In my opinion luck was the key role in Vladek’s survival.

Another factor which contributed to survival was that he was very smart mentally. At first he was very stubborn and did not use his skills wisely or well, but as you read further into the book, he began using his intelligence to his advantage and it was this intelligence that helped him survive. There were also his resources that he had, such as people he knew. This enabled him to get the necessary food, supplies, protection and shelter to survive. He was smart enough to get the right supplies by trading with the Polish workers. He had the skill of repairing shoes which helped him to earn money in order to buy different things. Being resourceful came in handy when it came to the concentration camps. When he first escaped the Prisoner of War camps, Vladek disguised himself as a non-Jewish Pole so he could get on a train to go home. First, after Vladek and Anja were...
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