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Maus Notes Essay

884 words - 4 pages

MAUS Character Summaries
Art Spiegelman | Art Spiegelman is the author and narrator of Maus, and also one of the story's main characters. Born in Stockholm after the Holocaust, he is the only surviving child of Vladek and Anja Spiegelman. His brother, Richieu, died as a child during the war, and his mother committed suicide in 1968 when he was twenty years old. He has a history of mental illness and is married to Francoise, a French woman who converted to Judaism upon their engagement. Maus centers around two primary narratives: Vladek's experiences as a Jew in World War II Poland, and Art's relationship with his aging father. This second narrative follows a period of time in Art's life ...view middle of the document...

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Vladek Spiegelman | Vladek is Art Spiegelman's father. He grew up in pre-war Poland, and much of Maus traces his experiences in the Holocaust, as told in his own words to his son. As the story opens in 1978, he is married to his second wife, Mala. The couple does not get along, and they are briefly separated in Maus's second volume. Mala is furious about the fact that he does not give her any money, even for things that she needs. Vladek, on the other hand, views Mala with a suspicion that borders on spite, and is constantly afraid that she is trying to steal the money that he has spent a lifetime saving.Vladek marries Art's mother, Anja, in Poland in 1937, only two years before the Nazi invasion. Anja's father is a wealthy manufacturer, and he provides Vladek with his own textile factory upon their marriage. Shortly thereafter, they have their first child, a boy named Richieu, who will die a few years later as a victim of the Holocaust. Vladek and Anja ultimately survive the war, and afterwards they move to Sweden for two years before settling in America. While living in Stockholm, they have their second child, Art. Anja kills herself in 1968, and Vladek mourns her until his death in 1982.Vladek's personality is largely dominated by his Holocaust experiences. During the Holocaust, he exhibited a spectacular resourcefulness, work ethic, and presence of mind that often enabled him to secure food, shelter, and safety for himself and his family. He was a shrewd businessman,...

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