If Vladek helped Anja raise Art do you believe they would have a closer relationship?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

In the graphic book Maus by Art Spiegelman, the best book ever done about the Holocaust, Vladek and Art may have had a closer relationship if Vladek had helped Anja raise Art.  Art really didn't know his father but saw him as an unapproachable, grim man who really ignored his son.  When Anja committed suicide, Art had to figure out a way to learn about his father if they were ever going to be more than strangers.  Thus, the book Maus was born.  In Maus, all the Jews look alike because Spiegelman wanted the reader to know this was happening to all the Jews whom the Nazis saw as rats or vermin.  To give them individuality would be to make the horrors of smashing real children against walls too horrible to look at.  Because the book is done in pictures, Spiegelman had to make it endurable to read and perhaps force readers to look at the Holocaust in a new way.

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isabellafiske | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

He was a grim and unapproachable man.  The Holocaust tended to make people rather grim and difficult to get along with-- unless they died there first.

He did help Anja raise Art, but not in the sense that one thinks of raising a child now. He frequently beat Art with a belt and was generally a figure of fear. His experiences in the camps had also made him immensely frugal and restrictive. But perhaps Art Spiegelman would not be the person he is today if he had not had to react to his father in the way he did.

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