Sunday, September 7, 2014

Question Commander, Guilhermo Pagnano Gonzalez

Why do you think Vladek is such a conservative when he faces money?

In my opinion Vladek is such a conservative and non spending money person since he had to face a dramatic and horrific time.  During his time as a prisoner Vladek had to live and figure himself out with very little.  The outcome of all the suffering he faced shaped him in a different matter that originally he used to be.  He has learned different beliefs through hard work and pain. That is why in the book he acts in a brutal way with his family. For example, when he states he needs to fix the celling.  He does not ask for help, or hire someone. He believes that he can get his hands on work and fix it, with the need of no money. This is very similar to lots of men in this world that have to be taken to war, just like Vladek many of them get physically and emotionally challenged and faced which in the end they become different.

In my opinion Vladek is a depressed man who doesn’t move on with life. It is like saying, when life gives you lemons you do a lemonade, yet Vladek does not use the lemons, he stays and stares at the lemons like a mean less man. He is a person who gave up and life and didn’t know how to keep on going. He abuses his wife is she was a slave or animal just like the Nazis did with him.  As a conclusion, the past shaped him as a person that believes that life can be held with their own hands and very little money.


  What was the intention of the author to interpret mice as Jews and cats as Nazis?

My point of view to this situation is that the animals interpret a metaphoric meaning. A meaning of an ecosystem in which cats eat mice.  In our real world mice have to face an enemy called cats, mice fight for their lifes by hiding and tricking their so known predetors with many techniques. They have to face a live or die situation everyday. In the book the mice woult be depicted as the Jews, and the Cats as Nazis. Nazis just like cats want to eat, destroy and devour mice as a meal.  As we read the Nazis would kill and tourture Jews if they were animals with meaningless reasons. Spiegelman chose to represent something that happens naturally in nature, which cats are more powerful than mice. As stated in the book, “this is book is no ordinary tom and jerry type of thing it is really using cats and mice to tell a serious story about the past.

Do you consider Vladek a “murderer” after having read he burned all his mom memories.

My judgment is that Vladek is completely right as a human being and as a father.  I consider this act very sad since he was burning all his wife’s belongings that she beloved and lived with it throughout her life, but also very heroic.  Vladek is not the best father in the world, yet he can be considered one of the best. Vladek and his family have lived through a time in their lives that should be forgotten forever since it just brings fatigue and bad memories of the past. What I think is that Vladek is trying to create a scenario in which what happened, happened, and is done and cannot be changed.  Vladek does this since he wants to create an environment where his son can be safe unlike the past. He only wants the best for his family and the stories Anja lived is not the best for them.



  1. Hi Gui! Good job on your post. I like the pictures you chose. I am going to answer question number 2, what was the intention of the author to interpret mice as Jews and cats as Nazis? Well, since cats eat mice, I think that he is trying to show that the Nazis, or the cats, are trying to kill the Jews, or the mice. I agree with you that the mice have to trick their predators with different techniques. In Maus, they are outsmarting the Nazis by building bunkers and hiding in them, and trying to stay one step ahead of the Nazis. Overall, good post.


  2. I agree with question #1. I think that he doesn't spend a lot of money because after having to live in a time where you had so little and could only use so little, I think that he got used to it. And I also think that after seeing the things he's seen and experienced the things he did, it changed him to not move on, because he feels like he couldn't, Even though he could, and try make the most of things.

  3. I think the 3 questions you chose where interesting, especially the first one. "Why do you think Vladek is such a conservative when he faces money?" In my opinion I think the war made him this way. During the war, Vladek had realized how important money could be. Now he thinks that its all what he needs in his life. However, I do not agree that Vladek is a depressed man who doesn’t move on with life. In someways, he did move on with his life. He never gave up on his life completely like Anja did. The war was too much to handle for both of them. However, Vladek has chosen to move on.

  4. Hi Gui,
    I really enjoyed reading your post, because it gave me new insight on the book because of your answers. I chose to answer your fist question, "Why do you think Vladek is such a conservative when he faces money?"
    I think he conservative because he is still facing trauma from his days during WWII. Like you said, he had to live and figure himself out with very little, so that turned him into the guy he is today. He doesn't want to spend money on things he can do himself, like he thinks he can fix the pipe with a friend, he thinks that Mala doesn't need to go to the hair dresser every week, etc. I don't agree though, that he abuses her. He only treats her like that, because she wants his money, because she tries to convince him to change his will so she gets more money, and she succeeded three times already, so he treats her badly only because he is sick of her gold digger personality.

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  6. I agree with you. The question that i was interested is the first question. Because I also had doubt about it. I believe he hcanged while he had hard time with no money. The situation was not condition that they can waste anything they had. Since that, he came to cherish on money. Even though he could buy something, he doesn’t buy if that is that he can try to fix. I can’t say that this is absolutely, it might be because he wants her to care about him. If he kept to refuse giving money to her, she would come to be not able to visit the hairdresser. What do you think about this?

  7. Gui, great questions! I agree with you on your first question. When you go through such a hard time like Vladek did, you learn to appreciate what you have. But, in my opinion, Vladek went too far. Even though he doesn't have the conditions he thinks he can fix everything without using money. It's good if you learn not to waste your money but it's not good when you don't use your money for absolutely nothing.
    I also think the same was as you on your second question. Mice are innocent animals that have done nothing to cats. They don't do anything to harm them but they are still killed. It's the same things with the Jews. The Jews have done nothing to the Nazis but they are still killed.

  8. Gui,
    I really liked your post. Your questions were very good! I agree with your answer for the second question about why the Nazis are cats and the Jews are mice. I also had a question similar to this on my post, and I agree that he was trying to show that the Nazis are stronger and more powerful than the Jews. It represents that the Nazis were killing the Jews and also shows that they are more powerful. I also agreed with your answer for the first question. I think Vladek learned how to appreciate what he has after everything that happened to him throughout the book. Vladek tried to do everything without wasting his money, and even though he didn't have a lot of money, he might have exaggerated a little bit. I think he should have managed this better because there were parts where he did unnecessary things just to save more money.

  9. Gui,

    Good job on your blog post. I really liked how you went into deep analysis and explained your thinking in an outstanding way! I chose to answer question #3.

    I understand how you interpret Vladek's decision in burning the book, but I am going to have to disagree. I see it the same way as Artie: as if he was a "murderer". I think that way because he "murdered" everything that was left of his mother. Sure, he didn't want Artie to be reminded of the past and get depressed, but I believe he is mature enough to understand that everything that happened in that war will never be repeated. The world has learned how to deal with, accept, and respect differences and this should make Artie less concerned