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Comparative Essay

1314 words - 6 pages

Vladek and Guido use their skills and intelligence to endure a genocide that killed over 6 million Jews and 11 million people in total. Although sadly Guido did not make it through the Holocaust, his wife Dora and Son Giosué survived, thanks to the help of Guido. Vladek survived by using his many talents in the prison camps whereas Guido survived by his cunning intelligence and positive attitude. In the Books Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, the author uses his fathers story of survival to create a book that unleashes vivid imagery of Vladeks time in Auschwitz, in addition to how it has affected him since. In the movie Life Is Beautiful Directed by Roberto Benigni, Guido was an average ...view middle of the document...

As Guido struggled to stay alive and deal with constant longing for his wife he explained to his son that this all a game, and the winner wins a big tank! Both men show a lot of resourcefulness throughout their time in the camps, for example Vladek always saved half of his portion of bread to save for later. Guido made sure he saved his food for Giosué. Vladek and Guido had very similar ways to stay alive but accomplished them in different ways.
Vladek ran a textile factory while living in Poland with his family, but living in Auschwitz, he observed the work of others to learn their trade. While in the camps he worked as a Tinsmith, a Shoe repairer, and taught english to a Nazi soldier. By doing these different jobs Vladek not only recieved better shelter and conditions then the other prisoners of war but he gets treated better by the Kapo. This gives him an immense advantage over the other Jews in the camp because of the better treatment he is given. In Guidos story of his time in the Nazi death camp he uses his sense of humor and skill to keep himself alive as well as his wife and son. When they first entered the camp all the children and old people were taken to be gassed; Guido, knowing what was going to happen to his son, made sure he hid Giosué in his bunker so that no one could find him and told him that they were playing on a different team when they left to the gas chambers. “Giosué: Where is uncle going? Guido: Uh...oh, he’s playing on a different team. Goodbye Uncle! Giosué: Goodbye Uncle!”Guido kept up this whole fantastical act about how they were just visiting this place, it was a competition and they were in the lead. Once they got 1000 points they would win the huge tank. Throughout the movie Giosué listened obediently to his father, understanding the importance that he stays hidden and unseen. Another way that Guido uses his wit to protect Giosué is when his son is seen by a German women in the camp. She mistakes Giosué for a german child and takes him away from Guido. Later that night when Guido is serving dinner he sees Giosué with all the other German children, Giosué accidentally says “Graci” to his father when he is served dessert and the German woman immediately comes in to see why a German child is speaking Italian. Guido realizes that his sons identity will be uncovered so he quickly teaches all the other children in the room to say “Graci”. Guido used his quick thinking to save his son, and uses other strengths such as this to make sure Dora knows that he and Giosué are safe. Although Guidos life in the Nazi concentration camp is...

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