1. What is the relationship between Art and Vladek like? How could you describe these two characters? How important is the past for their situation in the present? Think about otherconflicts in the family (Vladek/Mala, Art/Richieu)
Art and Vladek have a tense relationship.
Vladek is stingy and he makes life very difficult for those around him. He is anxious and neverrelaxed. He is suspicious and he isn’t happy with his life. He tries to make people do what he says. Sometimes it seems that he feels superior than his son. However he needs his son, Artie is the onlyperson he has to talk with.
Art is depressed since his mother committed suicide. He feels lees than his brother.
2. Race. What examples of racism can you see in the story?
- Jews were treated as if they weren’t human being, they were hanged, killed… Sometimes they’d got nothing to eat, the were forced to work very hard
- The Jews who soldfood to those which didn’t have coupons were killed
- Germans’ mothers tell to their children that “Jews will catch them to a bag and eat them”
- Jews were gassed in Auschwitz- A poisoned cake is given to Jews to get them sick
- In barracks, Germans didn’t give food to those Jews who had lice on their clothes
- Vladek exhibits racial prejudiceagainst blacks despite his own experiences of anti-Semitism.
3. Guilt is a very important theme in Maus. What examples of guilty feelings can you see in the book? Think about family relationshipsand survival of the holocaust.
Examples of guilty in the book:
- Artie feels guilty for not helping his father because he is busy
- Vladek makes Mala feeling guilty whenevershe wants to buy something
- Mrs. Motonowa feels guilty about chasing Vladek an Anja out of her house
- Artie feels guilty about having had an easier life than his parents...