Vladek’s Double Personality
"It was crying and praying. So long we survived. And now we waited only that they shoot, because we had not else to do" (267). This quote from the end of the novel ironically describes what the Jewish people endured after the concentration camps. Vladek Spieglman among other suffered through traumatic experiences; though Vladek certainly did survive the holocaust, old Vladek did not. Post-Holocaust it is revealed by Spieglman that his father, Vladek, develops two personalities—before and after the concentration camps. Vladek’s post-holocaust life was haunted by the horrors he witnessed while being in the concentration camps; he went from a young, handsome resourceful man to a miserable, old man who does nothing but complain.
In the opening, Vladek was very reluctant about discussing his past with even his own son. This hesitation came from the fear of reliving the pain he suffered through during the holocaust. Although Vladek doesn’t bluntly state the struggles he overcame, it is seen through the personality change Vladek has undergone. Before the occurrence of the Holocaust, Vladek is a resourceful, successful and very intelligent. Vladek managed to find a woman like Anja to marry—rich and smart. His marriage with Anja if filled with love, compassion and intimacy; Anja soon became a significant aspect of Vladek’s life. Vladek loved Anja knowing she was suicidal; he always did his best to cheer her up. Although Vladek and his family spent years