In 'Maus', surviving the Holocaust only means that one type of suffering ends for another to begin 12th Grade

Art Spiegelman’s ‘The Complete Maus’ explores the devastating impact of the Holocaust on survivors and their families. Through the lens of his father Vladek Spiegelman’s past experiences and their present day relationship, Spiegelman highlights the obsessive behaviour and depression that splinter the lives of Holocaust survivors. By including a remarkably candid self-portrayal, Spiegelman additionally suggests that the children of those who endured the Holocaust are haunted by its impact, left alienated from their parents and experiencing survivor’s guilt. Including an element of hope, Vladek and Art’s complex post-holocaust relationship reveals the capacity for stories to become vessels of healing, which strengthen the bonds between survivors and their loved ones, alleviating their suffering.

Through ‘The Complete Maus’ Spiegelman demonstrates that survivors of the Holocaust such as Vladek are left mentally and emotionally damaged as a result of their experiences. Through Art’s visits to his father Vladek, set in the 1970s and 1980s, Spiegelman reveals the harmful consequences of Vladek’s wartime ordeal on his new life in post-war America. Vladek describes having been forced to continually rely on his wits and pragmatism for...

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