18 April 2011

A Father's Story

Art Spiegleman's Maus begins by telling the story of how young Artie breaks one of his skates and his friends leave him. His father makes the comment, "If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week... then you could see what it is, friends"(6)! This comment foreshadows the story Artie's father, Vladek, tells. Artie begins to learn of his fathers past, and how he survived the Holocaust. His fathers story strengthens their relationship.

Chapter five takes off years later, with an older Artie who gets a call from his step mom, Mala, complaining about Vladek being on the roof of their house trying to fix a leak. At first, Artie refuses to help his father, but after hanging up the phone, he decides to go see his father. When Artie arrives, his father is upset about Artie not wanting to help him. While Artie and Mala discuss Vladek's behavior and how he read Artie's comic titled, "Prisoner of the Hell Planet" , Vladek wants Artie to take a walk with him to the bank. Artie agrees to go and Vladek begins to tell Artie of his Holocaust story.

Vladek begins by telling his son of how in 1943, all Jews had to go live in ghettos. Vladek worked in a woodwork shop while his wife, Anja, worked in a clothing factory. Guards would walk them to work, and walk them back everyday. Since times were dangerous in these ghettos, Vladek started talking to a man named Haskell. Vladek talked to him about moving to Zawiercic because he had some influence with the Germans there. This would be safer for the kids as well. Vladek told his son of how he survived the Holocaust by hiding in bunkers.

When Artie and his father arrived at the bank, Vladek gave him a key to his safe box. Vladek wanted to make sure Artie had a key so his second wife, Mala, would not take all his money. Mala was just after Vladek's money. After one of his heart attacks, Mala would ask Vladek about his money and how she wanted it. Vladek wanted to make sure his son got to his belongings first. In the safe were many valuables that Vladek had managed to save during the Holocaust.

Chapter five was very interesting and full of a lot of detail. It was kind of hard to remember all the names of the people Vladek talks about. Also, some of the sentences in this reading are hard to read. The German words also make it difficult to understand as well. This chapter was interesting though. Vladek's was interesting and showed me what difficulties Jew faced at this time in history.

1 comment:

  1. Not a bad post, justin, but you're still over-summarizing! Remember, just the key details!