11 April 2014

Maus-Falle (mouse Trap)

 “Mouse trap” starts by Art walking into his father’s kitchen to find a distressed Mala, because Vladek’s mistreatment's, he only gives her $50 a month to buy everything she needs.  Mala and Art discuss on why Vladek is so stingy, they wonder why none of the other survivors have adopted the same habit, Art worries about how he is portraying his father in his book. Art wishes he would have gotten his mother’s story to get a more sensitive point of view. When Vladek walks into the kitchen, Art shows him the first drawings for his book; Vladek shows his interest in his son’s comic even though he never reads comics. Vladek s and Mala get into an argument; Vladek tells Art that she is constantly threatening to leave. Vladek tells Art how he thinks Mala is only with him for his money, Vladek starts telling the story of what happens after he and Anja leave Srodula. When Vladek and Anja get to Sosnowiec pretending to be polish, they try to find refuge with an old acquaintance but get turn down, Next they try Anja's father's old house. The janitor lets them in, and they are allowed to hide in a shed, as they walk towards the shed an old woman who recognized them tried to get them caught, the page ends Vladek leaving to find food. On his way out he encounters another Jew in hiding, who leads him to a black market where they can buy supplies. The next day he returns to the black market encounters and old friend who gives him information on a possible hiding place at the home of a woman named Mrs. Kawka, he and Anja visit Mrs. Kawka to see if she’ll allow them to stay in her farm, she agrees but says if they get caught she had nothing to do with helping them.  The morning after spending the night at Mrs. Kawka’s Vladek leaves to Dekerta, to try and find food and a warmer place to stay during the winter, when Vladek would go to town he would take streetcars and always travel on the German side to not raise suspicion. 

When at the black market he met a woman named Mrs. Motonowa, who with pay invites him to stay in her house with her and her son, while husband was working in Germany.   Anja builds a relationship with Mrs. Motonowa’s son teaching him German; even though Mrs. Motonowa was a nice woman without pay she wouldn’t give Vladek food. Every time someone would visit Mrs. Motonowa they hide in the closet, after one day being searched by a gestapo in the black market; she angrily kicks Anja and Vladek out of her house, thinking she would be discovered hiding Jews. After being kicked out, they walked towards Sosnowiec speaking in German, and spent the night resting in a building foundation. In the morning, they make their way back to Mrs. Kawka's and return to living in her barn; Mrs. Kawka tells Vladek of smugglers who will transport them to Hungary for the right price. The next day when he returned to the black market he again encountered Mrs. Motonowa, who again invited them to her home since the gestapo never did search her home. After living with Mrs. Motonowa her husband writes that he’s coming; Vladek and Anja are forced to hide in Mrs. Motonowa’s cellar with rats and little to no food. After spending days without eating, they are able to go back to Mrs. Motonowa’s home; but Vladek didn’t feel safe anymore, he wants to leave to Hungary. 

On his way back to meet Mrs. Kawka he passes by some children who start yelling out that he’s a Jew, instead of running Vladek acts like nothing’s wrong. When he arrives safely at Mrs. Kawka's farm, the smugglers are in the kitchen; also in attendance are some acquaintances of Vladek's, the smugglers explain their plan, and the Jews discuss it amongst themselves in Yiddish so that they will not be understood. They are not convinced of the smuggler's honesty, and in the end, Abraham decides to go and promises to write back if he makes it safely to Hungary. The rest will only travel if they receive the letter. 
Both Anja and Mrs. Motonowa are boldly against the plan, but Vladek eventually convinces them both.  Vladek goes to visit Miloch his cousin, who is hiding in a garbage hole behind his old house with his wife and child. Vladek tells Miloch that he may soon be leaving for Hungary, and that there will be room at Mrs. Motonowa's. Soon after, Vladek, Anja, and Mandelbaum receive a letter from Abraham that says that he has arrived safely in Hungary, Anja still wants to call everything off but Vladek refuses. Vladek, Anja, and Mandelbaum meet the smugglers at the train station, and they all board the train. After less than an hour, however, they are arrested and stripped of their possessions. They have been betrayed by the smugglers. 

Vladek is made to board a truck with a hundred other prisoners and is transported to Auschwitz. Vladek and Anja are separated, not knowing if they will ever see each other again. When his dad finished telling him that story Art insists his father gives him his mother’s Notebooks, but Vladek tells him there is nothing to give him because he destroyed them all.  Art gets really frustrated with his father because after years and years of collecting useless items, he destroys the most important things.  The book ends Artie walking away from his father’s home calling him a murderer. The main purpose of this chapter is to show how   at the beginning we saw that Art's frequent visits were leading to a more positive and open relationship between him and his father. However, as this chapter comes to an end, the relationship is strained it seems almost to the point of breaking when Vladek tells his son that he burned Anja's diaries shortly after her death. And to add further insult to the tragedy, Vladek recalls that Anja once told him that she hoped Art would read them one day. At this, Art furiously yells at his father, calling him a "murderer." Though he apologizes, he leaves soon thereafter and again calls Vladek a "murderer.”  In other words Artie is accusing his father of killing the last thing his mother left for him, of erasing Anja’s existence. 

They key question in this chapter I think is: why did Vladek wait so long to tell his son that he had burned his mother’s Diaries? The most important information in this chapter is when Vladek tells Art what happens to his mother’s diaries. The conclusion in this in when Artie walks away from his dad it might be the end of their stain relationship.  The main idea we need to understand in order to understand this text is how fragile Arts and Vladek’s relationship was to begin with, and how Vladek might have completely destroyed it in the end.  The main points of view in this chapter are Vladek telling his story of when he was caught and sent to Auschwitz, and Artie’s reaction to what his father did to his mother’s diaries. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You need to break up your paragraphs ;-) This isn't bad, though; very detailed and some good Analysis.