A Literary Essay Example: Response to Maus a Survivor's Tale: Prisoner of War

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In chapter three of the Maus Survivor's Tale Book by Art Spiegelman, Vladek, the protagonist, clashes with to his son Arties on numerosus social aspects. For example, Vladek wanted to dictate to his son on lifestyle choices and habits such as as eating and clearing the whole plate. The conflict between Vladek and his son, helps the reader to explore the two different worlds that the two live, depite being in the same country. The author tries to test Vladik capacity to assume the role of father, especially that he was not raised in a family setting. In one instance Vladik confesses to the son that he was unfortunately recruieted into jewish army at an early age. The author goes ahead to illustrate how Valdik became a prisoner of war in German where he was subjected to brutality with little food, uncooked cabins and lots of work. He is later released on the day of Parshas Truma .However the historical tale is cut short by Vladek to being able to fit into the family setting through scenes where he is illustrated getting upset with the wife and Arties leaves when his father throws away his coat. The narrative, as such, explores Valdek seemingly aberrant anti social behavior .

As the author examines the conflict of Vladeck iunability to fit in the new social setting, the issue of flash balck makes the aricle quite difficult to udnersatnd. Vladin complication is further pushesd by poor arrangeemt of graphics attached to the narrative. \ The arrangement of graphics makes it bit difficult to follow up the narrative too.

The tone and style used bySpiegelman impact the reader in several ways through illustrationof the the ideal characters of the antagonists. The anxious tone of Artie is depicted by how he gets excited to know about his father was drafted into the army inthe early age. Vladek, had a condescending tone; he commands Artie to clear his plate and goes ahead to throw away his coat. However, he appears solemn andreflects back about the \ moments of his abduction. Irony stand out in the story in several occasions such as when Vladek among other prisoners of war is released on the day of Parshas Truma, yet he had shot and killed one of the German soldiers. Idealy they should have killed him too The irony provokes the reader into critical thinking and deeper analysis of the situation. Through comparison of contrasting reality and suppositions about reality it is possible to arrive at a better understanding of the narrative intention

The narrative setting is diverse from the meal around the tables to the sitting room .The setting also stretches forom the the war torn forest Vladek survived as a soldier and his escape back home after abduction. This has a great impact on the narrative as it sharpens the mood and tone of the story, as it affects the perception of the characters. The readers therefore get a clear mental graphic of the characters and their environment.

The author brings out several themes in the narrative for instance Family origin and the Jewishness, Vladek howls at Artie to clean the floor. This depicts the disparity differences between his life experiences and Arties. The former is intense than the latter. It also shows how past experiences and upbringing affected the current life of Vladek. Additionally Death and man interdependence is as well depicted, Artie comprehends horrific ordeals await Jews in Vladeks story. Though he appears naive when it comes to aspects of his fathers past experience. The atrocious neglect of Jewish life and humanity worries him. However he knows the German soldiers were trained to look down upon Jewish and the culture is inborn. The themes are therefore vital for the reader to understand the animosity among the Jewish, polish and the Germans.

In conclusion Vladek's personality has been shaped by the past experiences and upbringing. During that time he learnt a lot, from ethics to taking caring of his colleagues and friends. Above all love for the family. He therefore provides food, shelter and care unconditionally to his family. Vladek's father on the other hand is a tough and zealous man. He intentionally starves his son so that he doesnt qualify to join the army. Additionally Arties has mixed emotions towards his father. He leaves the narrative session when his father through away his jacket. On the other hand he loved his fathers narratives and would come along with a notebook. He feels his fathers experiences largely affects his upbringing and is so remorseful about the ordeal. Mala and her husband seem not be in good terms as vladek repetitively howls at her (Spiegelman, 2011).this is significant to the reader as it explains the effect of environment towards upbringing and the final personality of the characters.



Spiegelman, A. (2011). Maus. New York: Pantheon Books.


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