In Art Spiegelman's Maus, why did Artie call his father a "murderer" for destroying the diaries? Why is it so important for Art to find out about Auschwitz and why does his father take a different approach?
Artie wants his mother's diaries because he wants to include her side of the story in his book. All he has to go off of to write his book are long-time memories of his father. If he were able to read about his mother's experiences, then he felt that he would be better able to present an objective viewpoint for his readers. At one point, Artie is talking with his wife about how to write the book and he says, "I mean, I can't even make any sense out of my relationship with my father. How am I supposed to make any sense out of Auschwitz? Of the Holocaust?"(174). These feelings of inadequacy must have driven him to research as much as he could in order to bring the most accurate descriptions of his parents' story as he could. Having his mother's diaries would have given him more perspective and insight. Artie does call his father a murderer when he finds out that Vladek burned Anja's writings. Artie finds it ironic that his father saves the most insignificant things like a string or a piece of wire, but he did not save something so important as historical and family documents. Vladek said, "After Anja died I had to make an order with everything. These papers had too many memories. So I burned them"(161). Poor Vladek lived through most of those memories with her and they only reminded him of the tough times they went through. Vladek doesn't come out and say it, but maybe he was angry with Anja for killing herself and he went berserk. Maybe he felt guilty that he wasn't able to provide a life for her that didn't include the war and the Holocaust. Sadly, the answer to why Vladek burned the diaries isn't ever truly known.
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