PTSD In Art Spiegelman's Maus

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In Maus, Art Spiegelman records his personal accounts of trying to delve into his father’s traumatic past. His father, Vladek, is a Jew from Poland who survived persecution during World War II. Art wants to create a graphic novel about what his father went through during the Holocaust, so he reconnects with Vladek in order to do so. Due to the horrifying things that the Jews went through he has trouble opening up completely about all the things that happened to him. But after Art gets together with his father many times, he is finally able to understand the past legacy of the Spiegelman family. Despite the brave front that Vladek has put in the years following the war, his story remains to be a tale of suffering, agony, and death. The story of Vladek’s survival during the Holocaust is the central aspect of the novel, …show more content…

During the times that Art and Vladek discuss the past, Vladek is extremely fervent to tell his story and he even goes into particularly vivid details. Although that may just seem like someone who just wants to share their story, it can also be seen as symptoms that correlate with a disease known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. PTSD is defined as “a disorder that is characterized by the failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event” (Mayo Clinic). There are several instances within Maus that show nights where Vladek sleeps restlessly: “He’s moaning in his sleep again. When I was a kid I thought that was the noise all grown-ups made while they slept” (II.2.234). That comment that Art makes emphasises that Vladek’s problem of moaning in his sleep is something that happens often. PTSD symptoms can be triggered by sounds, smells, sight, and even feelings that the sufferer might experience. When Vladek and Art were at the bank looking at Vladek’s lock box, a sudden wave of emotions hit Vladek and he wonders why on earth he ever

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