Inside the Mind of Vladek
There have been many stories published about the Holocaust, but Art Spiegelman has created Maus I and II, novels that symbolically tell the story of a Holocaust survivor and his son. As well as events that took place during the Holocaust. Such traumatic events can cause drastic effects on any normal human being, especially when that person is one of few that survived said catastrophe. In Maus I and II, it is clearly evident that the events of the Holocaust affect Vladek’s behavior and ability to communicate with others.
Evidence of Vladek’s “condition” is displayed as early as the preface of Maus I. As a child, Art sought out the affection of his father and was usually thrown back a Holocaust reference. Often pertaining to how his petty problems were compared to how petrifying Vladek’s past had been. (5-6) Vladek completely undermines his son’s need for a father. And it is because of this that Art has problems communicating with his father and vice versa. Art must take the hand he’s dealt and accept his father in order to begin to understand him and the Holocaust.
It’s Vladek’s way or the highway. Constantly Vladek would make it very clear that he is always right and anyone else is idiotic to think otherwise. (19) This may be because of his critical personality. But it can also be linked to his experiences during the Holocaust. On many occasions, Vladek would make a decision and a friend would make another, and that friend would not survive. Vladek possibly experiences remorse or survivor’s guilt from this. Eventually those feelings morphed into self-independence and the exclusion of friends and family. If one were to do something that in a way that Vladek would not, he would be very cantankerous about it and overwrite your work.
During the war, food was very scarce, so it would be very important to conserve what they had. After the war, Vladek still had food conservation to the extreme programmed in his brain. So when Art has...
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