Theme Of Guilt In Maus

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Guilt is a great consumer of lives, but exactly what do people know about guilt? People only know what they've learned from experience, both theirs and others. Art Spiegelman is no exception to this concept. Throughout his graphic novel, Maus, he consistently expresses his guilt. Spiegelman experiences extreme guilt over not suffering the Holocaust, being a disappointment of a son, and for writing Maus. First of all, Spiegelman expresses constant survivor's guilt over his being born after World War II. He did not suffer through the horrors of the World War II Holocaust, but his father, mother, and step-mother suffered. Spiegelman feels guilty because his life has been much easier than theirs’. This is his survivor's guilt, which having a …show more content…

She made some wrong choices, some reckless choices, and one of these ended with her waking up to find Lily dead. She feels extremely guilty that she did not make good enough choices as a mother, and that these choices killed her daughter. Whether Elisa’s choices were directly correlated with her daughter’s death is not absolutely certain, but either way Elisa needs to find peace with it, just like Spiegelman needs to find peace with the fact that he cannot change who he is to please his father. Spiegelman’s Maus even expresses his guilt over creating it. He feels that he should not be profiting from telling the world his father's pain. The Jews in the story even haunt his dreams. Multitudes of other people also feel guilty over someone else's experiences so deeply that they cannot enjoy their own triumphs. The person in pain makes another feel guilty, which in turn causes that person pain. A study surveyed 107 families with children in which at least one parent had once had depression to test if there was a correlation between a formerly depressed parent´s guilt being placed on the child and the child taking his or her parent’s pain to heart. The results showed that the more the formerly depressed parent placed guilt on their child, the more seriously the child took the parent’s pain. Spiegelman, like

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