The reading of Maus begins with a small account of the narrator as a child. His friends ditch him and he cries to his dad. His dad makes a strange comment of which the narrator as a child only under stands to mean “some friends” and “oh, (mocking pity tone) man up and hold this board right while I cut it.” The story skips ahead to the father calling the son for help. The narrator doesn’t want to go and he gets and attitude from his dad that continues when he goes to visit. When he asks his step-mother about it, he finds out the reason for his fathers attitude is a comic book he wrote about his mother’s death. Here the readers see part of the comic about when his mother died. The comic from this sample is very intense and vary impressionistic. When he sees his father again the narrator confronts him asking about the comic book explaining that it was accurate to what he was feeling at the time. This is what starts his father talking about what he went through during the holocaust. The father tells the son about the ghettos, hiding places, getting caught, bribing to be rescued, working for a cousin in a boot soling factory, hiding out until the Germans left the ghetto, ending in the father and mother walking around with nowhere to go. They get to the bank and a second key for his safety deposit box so the son will have the key incase anything happens to him. Then a little blurb about how horrible his new wife is.
The narrator’s mothers suicide and all the hart rending emotion that was very well communicated through the expressionism of “Prisoner on Planet Hell” was difficult to get through. The holocaust part was difficult. By difficult in both sentences I mean I read it and then for the rest of the day I couldn’t get it out of my head. I empathized to the point that it haunted me. So it was difficult. I’d like to take credit for getting through that mess of emotions by myself but that’s not the truth. If I didn’t pray to the God I serve to help me I’d still be dealing with it and probably not dealing with it very well. After getting the help I needed I was able to step back from it and look at other things the comic deals with. The father is constantly picking up trash and saying that it is useful. In his own words “why you always want to be buying things you can just find?” That’s his generation’s attitude not just a survivor’s attitude. My grandmother is like that to she has a basement full of boxes that are full of scraps of fabric because it can be used for something. She was not in Germany during the holocaust but she did grow up in the depression. Either it is something everyone who’s been through very hard or traumatic time’s dose or the generations after is just more of a consumer. But the first seems to make more since now that I think about it. The more insecure a person feels the less likely to spend money after all they don’t know when they’re really going to need it. Perhaps that generation was just marked with that insecurity that external sighs are that need to save every penny and recycle useable trash. Our attitude is, if you can afford it just go buy it, and if you can’t afford it that’s what credit cards are for duh. So they may have been insecure or they just might have been smarter.
Ok now this is just a personal beef but when the narrator is talking to his step mother about “the Prisoner on Planet Hell” and he says he was being entirely objective. OBJECTIVE. Seriously I would have screamed and thrown myself on the floor after reading that but My sister and myself were stranded on the side of the highway and it’s just a bad idea to through yourself on the asphalt of a highway no matter how your feeling. But seriously how can you write objectively about the death of your mother even if she died of natural causes and you were there and she was at complete peace with it all. You can’t write about that objectively how much more so you not write objectively about the way his mother died can. Then again it may be another one of those girl things because it’s difficult to separate my emotions from anything I write. This response could very well be an example of that fact.