MAUS ESSAY – GUILT
In the award winning graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegalman, the theme guilt is a main factor. In the novel we are aware of the guilt that Vladek feels for surviving the holocaust, and the guilt he feels for the death of his beloved Anja. Towards the end of the book we discover the guilt that Art feels for his mother’s death, and the writing of his comic, he also feels as though he was not a good enough son towards his father, especially towards his death.
Vladek lives with a lot of guilt; the main guilt that he feels was surviving the holocaust whilst the others he loved were left to die. He felt responsible for the deaths and didn’t feel that he should be alive. He feels that when he had the choice to be on the right or left side he should have chosen the right side and be with his family. The guilt he feels is affecting his relationships now; he can’t have a close bond with his wife because he is always arguing. The holocaust made him very penny wise, and rude. He feels that he has no right to live the high life; he feels he shouldn’t have survived.
The death of Anja has left both Vladek and Art feeling very guilty, Art feels very responsible for his mother’s suicide, he wonders to himself if that is why his father and he don’t get on. He feels that he was the reason she did it. His last memory of his mother is when she asked him if he still loved her and he replied with a short “sure” he feels that he could off expressed it more, he shouldn’t of taken her for granted and he should been more loving towards her, this was a painful reminder of how he treated her. Vladek feels guilty for not being able to help her, enough and not being there more then he already was, he knew that he could never feel that way for another women, and he couldn’t thank Anja enough for how much she had helped him.
“So…are you going out to Queens?” “No way – I’d rather feel guilty! Besides, I’m too busy, and he can easily afford to hire somebody.”...
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