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Word Count: 1,622
The graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegleman vividly depicts thestory of Vladek Spieglemans experiences of the Holocaust The hardshipsof the Holocaust continually influence Vladek and resonate throughfuture generations ultimately affecting his son Art Maus contains twoprimary narratives one taking place in Poland during World War IIWWII and the other taking place in New York during the late 1970s tothe early 1980s The relationship between these two narratives of thepast and present seems to be the central idea in this graphic novel Thestory illustrates the past experiences of Vladek during the holocaustand how it shapes the present Holding onto ideas of the past andcarrying them for years into the future can be very significant in apersons life The interplay of past and present in Maus is representedthrough the Spiegleman familys relationship imbalance and emotionaldistress The cruel experiences of the past in WWII play an immense partin the setting of the present as they have negatively affected Vladekscharacter Anjas emotions triggering her suicide and especially Artsmentality and psychological well-being Maus seems to express thecharacter in the book as mice pigs and cats Due to the unusual styleit is at times very hard for Art Spiegleman to get the charactersfeelings and expressions across however he seems to use other ways toshow these strong and powerful feelings Vladek faced harsh challenges and had to overcome manyunimaginable obstacles in his past during the Holocaust to surviveThese traumas have permanently changed his personality and characterAll his bad attributes such as selfishness hoarding and stubbornnessin the present day are just shadows of his past Vladeks relationshipwith Mala his second wife is destitute of love and intimacy Howeverprior to WWII Vladek doesnt seem to have any of these traits He waswealthy kind skilful and his relationship with his first wife Anjawas full of love and compassion Now these dramatic personal changes inVladek have turned him
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