How does Maus fail in its account of the initiation of the Holocaust?How is the book is really about Artie, rather than his father  What does this tell us about the relationship between history...

How does Maus fail in its account of the initiation of the Holocaust?

How is the book is really about Artie, rather than his father  What does this tell us about the relationship between history and memory?

Expert Answers
teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suppose this would depend upon one's understanding of the exact initiation of the Holocaust.  In Maus I, Vladek enlists in the army when hostilities begin, and then the family is made to move into the ghetto.  But some argue that the initiation of the Holocaust began with the boycott of Jewish business in April 1933.  Maus I does not portray this event.

Although Speigelman wanted to chronicle his father's experience in the Holocaust, this story is framed by the larger narrative of the father/son relationship between Vladek and Artie.  The reader learns much about Artie's wavering feelings regarding his father and the pressures of creating Maus.  Further, there is much tension in the feelings that Artie has about Richieu, the first son of his parents Vladek and Anja, who was killed in the early stages of the Holocaust. 

Finally, Maus says much about the relationship between history and memory because it is very clear to the reader that Vladek does not present an objective view of history.  There are times when Artie corrects his father and reminds him that in a previous session, he gave a different answer.  Vladek tells him that these things happened long ago under strained conditions, and therefore, his memories have been changed.  The reader, however, is sympathetic to these potential discrepancies because it is reasonable to assume and accept that stress plays a toll on our memories.

Read the study guide:
Maus

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question