Artie calls Vladek a “murderer.” Why does he use this word to describe his father, and is he justified portraying Vladek in this manner?At the conclusion of Maus, Artie calls Vladek a...

Artie calls Vladek a “murderer.” Why does he use this word to describe his father, and is he justified portraying Vladek in this manner?

At the conclusion of Maus, Artie calls Vladek a “murderer.”

Asked on by loola555

3 Answers

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

Posted on

This question has been answered, but you seem to be asking for more explanation.  Art calls his father a murderer for destroying his mother's diaries because now he cannot find out what his mother was like through her eyes as her views and writings of what is happening are gone.  Who his mother really is as viewed by herself will never be known by Art because of his father's actions.  Art needs to find out about Auschwitz because it is the key to understanding his father and why his father is such a hard man to love or even like with all the fighting between Art and his father.  Remember that he began the book as a way to make peace with his father and hopefully learn more about his family history.  His father takes a different approach because he has lived through the horrors and doesn't want to relive them.  Art has not seen the awful events which Vladek lived through, so Art doesn't quite get reluctance to explain what happens in the lives of his mother, father, and now unknown brother.  Vladek just wants to forget what happened and live in the present without thinking of the horrors of what happened to him, Anya, and his son.  Both Art and Vladek have valid reasons for why they act as they do.

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hhaeger | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Take a look at the context; Artie calls Vladek a murderer for burning Anja's (Artie's Mother's) diary. Artie is racked with guilt and anger over his mother's suicide. He is clearly torn between blaming himself, apparently for not being a more dutiful and loving son, and blaming his father for being a selfish and picky man. However, the destruction of Anja's diary essentially destroys the essence of what is left of her. Artie's statement is a partial accusation of his father's driving her to suicide, but it is more completely a judgement on his father's insensitive destruction of her intimate thoughts contained in the diary. Artie (the author Art Spiegelman) is an artist and writer; the destruction of the diary would be an especially keen loss, a sort of "death of one's soul".

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metamaus | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on


  1. At the end of Book I, Art calls his father a "murderer" for destroying his mother's diaries after her suicide. What deos he mean by that? Why is it so important for Art to find out aboutAuschwitzand why does his father take a different approach?


can someone answer this too? i dont understand why and how his father reacts