Maus Questions and Answers
by Art Spiegelman

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Please give me words that best describe the character Artie in the book Maus II. Key words that describe the character Artie in Maus II.

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Maus II, Art Spiegelman presents himself both as a family member and as an artist, and gives the reader a glimpse of how one identity led him to the other. Much more than curious about his family's past and his own beginnings, his insistence on tracking down and recording the information borders on obsession.

Because only he and his father are still alive, Artie feels guilty. He also resents his father for failing to prevent his mother's suicide and for destroying her journals. Even though he was born in Sweden, not in Auschwitz, it is survivor guilt because he knows that many pregnant women did not get out and that babies and children also died inside. Beyond guilt and resentment, however, he feels frustration because he can't stop blaming his father, even though he wants to forgive and forget. Thus Artie is continuously conflicted, and yet optimistic that putting the story on the page will help him and the thousands of others in similar situations.

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mizzwillie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In his graphic book Maus, Art Spiegelman writes about the Holocaust    to portray his father and mother and their experience in the Holocaust in order for him to understand his father.  Artie is persistent in asking his father for information, wanting to know every detail.  He is angry about Vladek and Anya's betrayal at the border which sends them to Auschwitz. Artie tries to be understanding with his father, knowing what Vladek went through.  He is devastated that his brother, about whom he knew nothing, is killed in the war, and that even though his mother survived the concentration camps, she committed suicide after the war.  Most of all, Artie is enraged at the idea that his father destroyed his mother's diary, her intimate thoughts by which he might have gotten to know his mother.  As an artist, this communication from his dead mother would have been the most precious possession, and yet his father destroyed it.  Artie is a loving father himself, and dedicates the book to his own child and his brother lost in the war.

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