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Draft Post

Submitted by jnduggan on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 23:17

Children of Holocaust survivors are frequently burdened by the responsibility of telling, or at least understanding the stories of their parents.  In Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, Art feels as though it is his duty to carry on the story of his father’s experiences.  The author does this by writing these comic books illustrating the process of extracting the stories as well as their content.  In the film The Summer of Aviya, directed by Eli Cohen, the child of the survivor is a young girl, who accidentally learns the stories of her mother through her own spying.  The two representations of Holocaust stories are one in the same in that they both involve damaged parental figures bringing their metaphorical baggage into their relationships with their children.  

Art, the author of Maus, learned of his father’s experiences in the Holocaust through convincing him to tell his story.  Art returns to his father, Vladek’s, home often to speak about his story of the war. Vladek consistently asks Art to come over and help him with general house chores making it appear as though Vladek is desperate to spend time with Art.  Vladek’s desideratum may cause him to be more willing to tell his story, if it means that Art will be there with him. Since Art cares so much about writing the book about his father’s life, he often pressures Vladek into telling him intimate stories that he would prefer not to tell.  One way that Art persuades his father is by asking him to tell stories about his wife, who he loved very dearly. Although Vladek tries to avoid speaking about the personal details, at his heart he cares about carrying on the family story. It is evident that he cares about the representation of the history  when he freely takes out pictures of his relatives, and tells their individual stories, one by one. Aside from the snooping Art does in attempt to find his late mother’s diaries, Art does not need to pry to get stories from his father.