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175113: The Aftermath Of The Holocaust In Art Spiegelman’s Maus Volumes I And Ii

1055 words - 5 pages

175113: Transformation from a Boy to a Man: The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Art Spiegelman’s Maus Volumes I and II
By means of comic illustration and parody, Art Spiegelman wrote a graphic novel about the lives of his parents, Vladek and Anja, before and during the Holocaust. Spiegelman’s Maus Volumes I and II, delves into the psychological struggle he faced, as a result of his father’s failure to recover from the trauma he suffered during the Holocaust. In the novel, Vladek’s inability to cope with the horrors he faced while imprisoned, along with his wife’s tragic death causes him to become emotionally detached from his son, Art. Consequently, Vladek hinders Art’s emotional growth. ...view middle of the document...

Anja and Vladek did not have a fairy tale ending because Anja committed suicide. Vladek marries Mala and traps himself in an unhappy marriage. By marrying Mala, Vladek tries to replace Anja with Mala, a notion that is impossible. Simultaneously, he becomes a mechanical object that experiences emptiness through his possessive ways.
Vladek’s possessiveness leads him to try to control Art. Vladek throws Art’s coat because he believes the coat is in a bad condition. By throwing the coat away, he tries to control his son by picturing himself in Art’s shoes. Subsequently, because of the Holocaust Vladek was unable to fully enjoy his youth. By means of control, Vladek could tried to retain his past life through Art. Furthermore, Vladek pretends that he is suffering a heart attack to keep Art close by his side. Vladek’s control enables him to manipulate Art.
Vladek’s behavior leads him to become emotionally disconnected from his son. In Flora Hogman’s “Trauma and Identity,” asserts that “Significant trauma of one generation reflects in the life of the following generations” (551-578). The first generation Holocaust survivors transfer their struggle to express pain on to the following generations by concealing their emotional struggle. Similar to those survivors, Vladek is incapable of moving forward and are lost in the shadows of the past and use control as a coping mechanism. At the beginning of Maus Volume one, the reader is presented with Vladek’s incomprehension towards young Art. Young Art says, “I-I fell, and my friends skated away w-with out me.” Vladek responds, “If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week… then you could see what it is, FRIENDS!” (1:6). Instead of Vladek being sympathetic, he receives his son with close arms, causing Art to feel guilty. Furthermore, Vladek’s remark demonstrates that the memories of the Holocaust continue to haunt him. In another scene, Vladek is infuriated with older Art because he has yet to finish the meal on the plate and he is asking for more (1:43). Once again,...

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