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Heroism In Maus : Vladek And Anja Spiegelman

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Vladek is depicted as a hero who shows countless acts of selflessness and generosity and a villain who is, “opinionated, tight-fisted, and self-involved”. (Brown 6) Art Spiegelman’s book Maus, tells the story of how Vladek and Anja Spiegelman survived the Holocaust. Spiegelman illustrates Vladek as a man who single-handily saved his family from starvation and Auschwitz in World War I. During Spiegelman’s interviews, we get an idea of Vladek’s darker side since the war ended. Mala to speak of her astonishment and disgust in Vladek’s character. Which leaves us to question how truthfully these stories are being told. In the end, Vladek’s unsuccessful heroism is a constant reminder of his failure; survival with Anja was always easier, after her death, Vladek pushes everyone away with his “guilt and manipulation” (Brown 7) Vladek shows heroism in life threatening situations when everyone else has given up. After receiving a letter from the Polish government, Vladek leaves his family to fight the war against Nazi, Germany. After facing the terrible conditions of a P.O.W. camp and the back-breaking work of the “volunteer labor assignments” (Spiegelman 54) Vladek returns home to his family only to find their situation in shambles. In Vladek’s efforts to bring in money when there is none to be made; he constantly risks his life so the Zylberberg’s can live a modest life, compared to the luxury they were used to. When the Jewish families are forced to move to Stara Sosnowiec Vladek
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