Study Guide: Maus I

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Study guide questions for Maus I.

Chapter one –

1. Spiegelman presents us with the roller-skating episode from his childhood because it foreshadows the story that is ahead for Vladek and his friends, who he is going to experience the war with. The cartoon sets the mood for the whole story and shows the readers that Vladek’s friends weren’t the most reliable, and they might not be his friends after everything that he goes through.

2. Vladek dated two girls, Lucia Greenberg and Anja Zylberberg. Lucia came from a poor family and she was very controlling and obsessive. She got extremely close to Vladek, when he wasn’t as close as she was to him. Lucia wanted to get engaged, but Vladek didn’t feel the same connection with her. Anja on the other hand, was a clever girl who came from a rich family. Anja was less attractive than Lucia, but as Vladek started talking to her more and more, he started loving her. In the end, Vladek married Anja. Art’s father tells him to leave out the story of Lucia from his book, but Art stresses that it makes everything much more real and human.

3. In my opinion, there isn’t any sense of what was about to happen to Vladek, his family, and his people. Everything seemed perfectly fine in his world.

Chapter two –

1 To get into trouble, Anja got involved in conspirations with the tall boy from Warsaw. She would translate his communist messages into german and pass them on. Anja got out of it by giving it to their seamstress neighbor, Miss Stefanska, who hid the package for her.

2. Vladek and Anja travel to a sanitarium because Anja became very depressed after having her child. On the way to the sanitarium, they see a Nazi flag hanging in the center of a town and they become very concerned.

3. When they return to Poland, the textile factory had been robbed.

4. Vladek leaves Anja and his child behind because he was drafted to the Polish Reserves Army.

Chapter three –

1. Vladek’s father tried to keep him out of the war by only allowing him to eat salted herring, drink no water, and let him sleep only 3 hours a night to make him lose weight and look unhealthy for his medical examination.

2. Vladek’s life in the POW camps was difficult. He had to endure hours of strenuous work and harsh weather conditions.(the cold, they barely fed the jewish pow’s)

3. After Vladek was released on Parshas Truma, he was able to get back to his family in Sosnowiec by convincing a Polish train worker that he just escaped from Nazi war prison (the poles hated the germans) and that he was trying to get back to his family. The train main hid Vladek in the train when they got to the border, and fortunately, helped him return to Sosnowiec.

4. Vladek’s relationships with the people around him tell us a lot about his personality. In my opinion, Art and Vladek’s relationship is good. Art sometimes gets annoyed with his father, but I believe that Vladek is only looking out for Art because he loves him and he doesn’t want to lose him like he lost Richieu. Vladek’s relationship with Mala isn’t the best, but this may be because he is still so upset after losing the love of his life, Anja.

Chapter four –

1. When Vladek returns to his family, many obvious changes have taken place, including:
a. Living arrangements – 12 people had now been living in Vladek’s father-in-law’s house.
b. Food – food was much harder to get: they only received coupons for a little amount of food.
c. Jewish businesses – All of the jewish businesses had been taken over by “Aryan managers.”
d. Family furniture – Vladek’s father-in-law had a nice new bedroom set that the German’s would have loved to take from him. They ended up selling it the German’s for a little extra cash to help out the family.

2. Vladek and Anja ultimately had gave Richieu to Ilzecki’s Polish friends to hide, after a year of keeping him with them but he didn’t make it through the war.

3. The four Jews that were hung in...
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