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Analysis Of A Surviror´S Tale By Art Spiegelman

897 words - 4 pages

The book A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman is a very successful narrative about Vladek’s experience during the Holocaust. It tells the story of a Jewish holocaust survivor and his son who is a cartoonist transforming his father’s tale into a comic book. The son, Art, finds this event horrifying but also interesting so he feels others should read about it from the mouth of an actual survivor. The story jumps back and forth from present day to the days of the war. Art visits his father continuously to record parts of his story but he does not have a well-developed relationship with his father so these visits get tense. The father, Vladek, starts the story by saying how he met Art’s mother, Anja, who also survived the Holocaust, but she later committed suicide in May, 1968. Most of the story is the contact between Art and Vladek; Anja’s death is a major part of their relationship. It may be why they do not have an upright relationship. They have different ideas of Anja. For Vladek, Anja is the perfect wife; she was neat, wealthy, bright, and fluent in many languages like Vladek, whose own language fluency saves him in many situations. For Art, Anja is a needy and emotional mother but also the most compassionate towards him. We never get her side of the story, especially because after she commits suicide, Vladek destroys her diaries being unable to tolerate any image of Anja. In addition to the mother’s tragedy, Art has a brother, Richieu, who was born before the war in which he never meets. His mother’s sister, Tosha, took Richieu to stay with a relative to keep him far from the camps. The Germans eventually arrive in town and take the Jews to the camps so Tosha commits suicide and poisons Richieu, along with her own children. For most of his life, Art knows Richieu only as a photograph of a boy he could never live up to.
In Maus, you get two life stories in one. First, there is the story of Art Spiegelman, told by himself, who is recording his father’s words and making them into a comic book. Second is Vladek’s life story, as well as his struggles with his current wife Mala. Mala is another Holocaust survivor and Vladek’s second wife. She was familiar with Vladek and his deceased wife Anja before the war. Mala helps Art understand the ways the survivors handled their Holocaust experience. Vladek’s story is always getting interrupted by Art’s questions, and by random events that happen.
The book tracks Vladek Spiegelman in Poland in the year’s primary to World War II. In which...

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