Guilt In Art Spiegelman's Maus

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To illustrate, when an adult becomes a parent, he or she makes a promise to always put their child before themselves. When a parent fails to maintain this promise, every aspect of his or her life revolves around the feeling of guilt. In Maus, the author displays this cause and effect through the use Vladek’s figure-the positioning of the face, hands, and feet to express what a character is feeling. Vladek tells Artie of
Moreover, just as a parent can feel the guilt of failure and its restraints, a child can mimic such guilt in just as many ways. Spiegelman portrays an example of this guilt after Artie discovers that several days ago Vladek had seen an old and personal comic of his for the first time. The comic, titled “Prisoner on the Hell Planet,” was drawn years ago and acted as a way for Artie to express his emotions and mindset
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Not knowing the explanation behind Anja’s actions, Artie is lead to believe that friends and neighbors blame him for Anja’s death and admits that he has turned his back on his mother in moments when she desperately needed to feel loved. Artie’s newfound sense of isolation is shown through his illustrations of people’s distorted, inhuman faces. It can be inferred that Artie’s disconnect is a result of the overwhelming guilt he feels after taking responsibility for Anja’s suicide. In the last three panels of the comic, Artie is depicted as a prisoner within a jail cell, crying out, “….You put me here….shorted all my circuits….cut my nerve endings….and crossed my wires!....You murdered me. Mommy, and you left me here to take the rap!!!” (103). Artie believes that Anja is the one who has “murdered” him, turning his life upside down and trapping him in a prison of guilt. Spiegelman puts draws attention to the negative word, “murdered,” and uses three exclamation points to put emphasis on the miserable and agonizing tone Artie has taken on. The use of this word

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