Analysis of Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman
Maus, by Art Spiegelman, shows the trials and tribulations that the main character, Vladek, and his companions suffered during the Holocaust. No matter the situation, Vladek rises up to the challenge, and does the only thing he can do: live. For the Jewish people during that time surviving was a challenge and for those that actually survived was pure luck. Throughout Maus we find this survival in the portrayal of Vladek Spiegelman; father of the author. Vladek resourcefulness helps him survive because of his knowledge of different languages, skills to work on anything, and initiative to make trades with others allows him to survive the years that he was trap in the Holocaust. Vladek played an active role in his survival during his time spent on different concentration camps. Although his resourcefulness was the most essential factor in his survival, his intelligence also played a role. Vladek could speak English, Polish, German, and Yiddish. His multi-lingual capabilities contributed to his survival in several instances. First, after Vladek and Anja were captured for trying to escape to Hungary, Vladek helped a Polish man write letters to his family. The letters had to be in German, and the man did not know how to speak German. The man, in return, shared his food packages with Vladek (Maus I, 156). Later, in Auschwitz, Vladek got on good terms with his polish block supervisor by teaching him how to speak English. This saved him from being sent to the gas chambers on more than one occasion and earned him both food and a uniform that fit. The block supervisor also helped Vladek to get a job working in a tin shop (Maus II, 47-49). Finally, he was able to speak to the French prisoner in Dachau who was desperate for someone to talk to. The Frenchman was so happy to have company that he shared his food packages with Vladek (Maus II, 93-94). Although Vladek's knowledge of multiples languages played a role in his survival,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document