Since I saw that this book is a graphic novel I was interested on it. The way Mr. Spiegelman uses the art and the animal characters to create a story about a really rough topic: The World War II, is creative. When I read the first few pages I got a lot of connections with other movies, books and situations I have been through.
My first connection is about Artie and his father Vladek. So far we know that in the present day Artie is all grown-up and he is writing a book about the World War II. He wants information from his dad because he lived all of it. Vladek and his son start talking about the very beginnings of the war. Vladek told him about his mother Anja. They talk about of how they met and about almost every detail about their relationship: how their children were born, the day he left for the war and the events that separate them. This reminds me of a movie I saw and that I actually love.
“Life is Beautiful“ this is the name of the movie and it is about the story of a Jew man who is poor and lived in a cottage in Italy. One day he saw a woman in the village and he fell in love with her. She had a wealthy family and at first it seemed impossible for them to be together. Time passed and the woman also fell in love with him and they got married. They had a child but the war started and they were separated and sent to concentration camps: for women and men. This man was really positive and looking for a way to survive. He found out a way to keep safe his child until the end of the war. (I really don´t want to say the end of the movie for those who haven´t seen it but it is essential to my connection, sorry). When the war ended they all the jews were freed by the Americans, but unfortunately the man was killed saving his son´s life. Mom and child were reunited at the end of the movie and we find out that the narrator of the movie is the child, talking wonders about his father. Source)
I think this two stories are basically the same. There was a couple and they loved each other, the war came and they were separated. We don´t know what happened to Vladek´s child during the war but we know he is still alive because now they are together so the kid in the movie. Vladek wasn´t killed but Anja was. In the mom wasn´t killed but the dad was. In both of them the main characters lost one of their parents during the war and they were killed because of being jews. The family members left they are all survivors. Like this stories there should be a lot more.
My second connection is about another Jew story. About two years ago I read a book called “The boy in the striped pajamas“ by John Boyne. This time the connection I am going to make is to the other side of the war.
The book is about a german family. The dad worked for Hitler and they were moving to Austria. Bruno, the kid, was a curious kid and he wanted to know why his family was torturing poor Jew people. Once Bruno told his father: “Dad why are we doing this? Do you like being a bad a person?“ and the dad respond: “We are prisoners just like them, we receive orders and we don´t give opinions, understand?“.
This people were going through the same situations. Vladek and Artie were obligated to be slaves in a certain way and Bruno and his dad were obligated to kill people and to do rough stuff they probably didn´t want to. In the war they were all prisoners and no one was free to decide their actions or way of thinking. People were controlled by the leaders of nations to win a nonsense war (my opinion).