What do we know about Artie’s relationship with his father so far?


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Maus is really two stories, not one. The first story follows Vladek's experiences in World War II Poland, while the second story deals with Vladek's relationship with his son. Chapter 1 is an excellent introduction to this relationship: the two men are not particularly close, and they do not have an easy or relaxed manner around each other. One of the primary themes in Maus is that of guilt, which manifests itself a number of ways, such as in Art's feelings that he does not treat his father as well as he should. Evidence of this guilt appears on the very first panel of the first page. Art tells us that he hasn't seen his father in a long time, and that they are not particularly close. Upon his arrival, however, he gives his father an excited greeting - a disproportionate response resulting from the guilt he feels over his neglect of the old man.