Prisoner On The Hell Planet Character Analysis

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The ability to feel empathy for a character allows a reader to relate to a story. However, while telling Vladek’s story of survival, it is rare that Art’s feelings are ever expressed to the reader. When Vladek tries to change the topic from his story, Art returns to the story of the Holocaust which does not allow the readers any insight to Art’s feelings or personal memories. However, the impact of second generation trauma is realized in the chapter “Prisoner on the Hell Planet”. With a dark tone and a completely contrasting black background compared to the white seen throughout the novel, the burden of his family’s past that he continues to carry is understood. The image of Art wearing concentration camp clothing allows readers to recognize how connected he feels to his father’s experiences in the Holocaust. The only other time Art’s true feelings are expressed is when he accuses his father of being a “murderer” (Spiegelman 159) for destroying his mother Anja’s diaries. This shows a true loathing towards his father that has not been lessened even though these diaries would bring back awful memories to his father. Without always knowing Art’s feelings it is difficult to relate to and feel the passion for his second generation trauma.
In comparison, Monkey Beach is told predominantly in first person from the memoirs and personal
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Post memory is the idea of describing the relationship of the second generation to powerful, often traumatic experiences that preceded their births. As Hirsch describes post memory, “These events happened in the past, but their effects continue into the present” (Hirsch 2016) which is evident throughout both novels, but emphasized more in Monkey
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