Maus And Night: A Literary Analysis

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If one is in a situation where speaking up against an injustice would result in being killed, what should they do? This theme is apparent in both the graphic novel Maus and the memoir Night as they focus on life during the holocaust for Jews. Maus by Art Spiegelman is the story of Art’s father Vladek and his experiences leading up to his capture and placement into the concentration camps. Night is a personal memoir by Elie Wiesel. The memoir guides the reader through Elie and his father’s experiences at concentration camps. Both the graphic novel Maus and the memoir Night show how remaining silent can prevent violence.
In the novel Maus Art’s father Vladek recalls multiple instances where staying quiet in front of the Nazis helped avoid violence. During the holocaust, anytime Jews would try to stand up for themselves the Nazis would react aggressively, and the Jews knew this, so they chose to stay quiet to avoid conflict. Vladek talks about while in the
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Elie and his father face many challenges from the Nazis and are aware of the need to remain quiet and inconsequential. One of these occasions is in chapter 4. Elie’s father is being beaten by their Kapo Idek, who has a temper, and Elie watches his father be beaten and decides to remain silent (Wiesel 54). By keeping quiet he is able to avoid bringing Idek’s wrath and violence upon himself. Earlier in the memoir Elie is put in another situation where he keeps silent while his father is mistreated to avoid violence “I stood petrified. What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent” (Wiesel 39). Elie is shocked by his reaction because normally he would stand up for his father, but what he has experienced has taught him to stay silent in order to not be punished himself and enhance the
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