Adversity In Art Spiegelman's Maus

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In Art Spiegelman's Maus I and Maus II -- a graphic novel biography of his father -- he depicts Vladek in a manner that both supports as well as challenges Horace's belief that adversity brings out hidden talents that would have otherwise lain dormant. While adversity helps him grow as a person, it later goes on to hurt him in the end. In the beginning of Maus I, Spiegelman portrays a young and curious version of his father, Vladek. As time progresses, life around him begins to crumble. The first major adversity he faces has to do with the true love of his life, Anjia. After giving birth Anjia spirals into a deep dark depression. In order to comfort and help her Vladek has to discover a more sensitive, loving aspect of his personality. Vladek’s character develops to accommodate his wife’s need for vast amounts of love and support, rendering him a better person in the long run. Later in the comic, all the Jews are rounded up and placed into ghettos. As written by Spiegelman “the noose tightens”. In the ghettos the Jews are given a finite amount of coupons which they can use to by the bare necessities, such as food. …show more content…

Through numerous concentration camps, his first son’s death, and Anja’s suicide Vladek is left a shell of his former self. Vladek becomes stingy, fidgety, anxious, and slightly depressed, Due to him losing all he once held dear to him, Vladek towards the end of his life is just going through the motions. The love which kept him strong and optimistic got tragically taken away from him. His new “broken” mentality is demonstrated through his interactions with Spiegelman and Mala. Vladek no longer seems capable of being the loving father and husband he once was. Overall, I think Vladek needed adversity to unlock the parts of himself which allowed him to survive, but was hindered by the trauma of having to go through what he did towards the end of his

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