I need to describe the father-son relationship between Vladek and Artie in Maus. What are some of the positive and negative aspects?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Maus, Speigelman describes his relationship with his father Vladek as one wrought with conflict and misunderstanding.  Speigelman characterizes himself as Artie in the graphic novel; Artie always feels that he is under the shadow of his brother Richeu who died before Anja and Vladek came to America.  Artie feels guilty that he is the living child and assumes that his father harbors similar feelings.  Further, Artie sometimes wishes that he would have been alive during the Holocaust so that he could better relate to his father.  When Vladek hordes food and does other things that must be related to his time in the concentration camps, Artie cannot understand how his father could act in such a way.  On the other hand, the two have a strong relationship because the power of storytelling binds them together.  Artie does not care about the money or fame that the book might bring him--he is simply interested in grasping his father's story so that he can share in the experience and so that his father's voice is heard.  Vladek wants to tell his son about his past, and the storytelling sessions become moments of bonding for father and son.