My Father is The Living Holocaust Memoir
When you hear " Holocaust Survivor" you think of a new beginning, a better future, victory at last." But what happens when parents bring a child into this world and their priority is to love and protect their baby In a better and safe place have been traumatized of the past with incredible amount of horrifying memories and experiences? In Art Spiegelman's graphic novels, MAUS 1 and MAUS 2, he exposes the true story of his father, Vladek, and his experience as a Jew throughout the Holocaust through pictures and sketchy storytelling. The relationship between Art and his father is the essential description in the book as Art has no other way to escape from being victimized by his own father's past and mother's suicide because of all the hurt they've gone through in Auschwitz long-ago.
As the years of excruciating mourning, mistreatment has become the playground of Art's memory;he could almost coincide that growing up as a child his father was never really there for him. "Friends? Your Friends? If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week....then you could see what it is ...Friends!"(MAUS 1 6) 10/11 year old Artie got hurt from skating with his friends in Rego Park crying for his fathers arms, Vladek nurtured him with negligence and enacted anger from his past. This shows the gap between their father-son relationship. Not that Vladek was a bad father to Art but a father's job is to guide and protect their child, particularly when young.
Starting from the top falling all the way to the bottom "destitute" must be somewhat discouraging. The direct effects Vladek faced in the camps is almost exactly the way he treats others and tortures himself rather than trying to move on from it. He belittles everyone around him including his second wife Mala making them feel unloved. "Mainly I remember arguing with him...and being told that I couldn't do anything as well as he could," Art tells his therapist (during the course of losing his mother). "No matter what I accomplish, it doesn't seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz" (MAUS 2 44). It's obviously showed that with Vladek actions towards people we can understand why they feel so low. Vladek throughout the story, he stresses the importance of his heart (comparing himself of how heroic and very strong he use to be). "It's good for my heart..the pedaling.." (1 12) All the sweat, blood and tears (energy) it took to survive the Holocaust seems to build up and haunt Vladek as present (life now). He needs to know that everyone ages and he has to accept the fact that he's getting old and he cannot be what he once was and that's young again doing all the skillful things he use to do.
To further exacerbate the situation, a typical father son relationship is all about bonding, trust and understanding each other. Seemingly he's not able to do so because of the distress overpowering his brain, he continues to be insensitive to Art. Art can't...