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The Effect Of The Holocaust On The Children Of The Survivors

777 words - 4 pages

In the years after the Holocaust the survivors from the concentration camps tried to cope with the horrors of the camps and what they went through and their children tried to understand not only what happened to their parents. In the story of Maus, these horrors are written down by the son of a Holocaust survivor, Vladek. Maus is not only a story of the horrors of the concentration camps, but of a son, Artie, working through his issues with his father, Vladek. These issues are shown from beginning to end and in many instances show the complexity of the father-son relationship that was affected from the Holocaust. Maus not only shows these matters of contentions, but that the Holocaust survivors constantly put their children’s experiences to unreasonable standards of the parent’s Holocaust experiences.
In the story if Maus, written by Art Spiegelman, is not only a story about a father’s story of his life in the Holocaust, but one of a father who has horrific problems relating to his son. These issues are shown from beginning to end and in many instances show the complexity of the father-son relationship that was affected from the Holocaust. Even though this relationship gets better by the end of the second book, Vladek’s and Artie’s relationship remains tenuous for the majority of the book. This begins at the very beginning when Artie’s friends leave him behind when they were skating and Artie goes to his father crying and Vladek says, “Friends? Your friends? If you lock them in a room with no food for a week THEN you see what it is Friends” (Spiegelman 6). This statement is very telling how much the Holocaust affected Vladek because he is putting down his child and his child’s experiences. At the age of Artie when his father said this, ten or eleven, Artie is at a very impressionable age when children believe everything their parents tell them and also when children need their parent’s support for when issues come up. The comment of Vladek of “...THEN you see what friends are,” is not only telling Artie that his friends are not truly friends, but that this event in Artie’s life doesn’t matter and he doesn’t have any real friends (Spiegelman 6). ...

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