Author: Art Spiegelman
Post: Daniel Choe
Role: Question Commander
Pages: 129 - Ending
After reading and finishing the book "Maus," I still had some questions wandering in my mind.
Why does Mala and Vladek fight so much?
In multiple scenes of the book, it appears Vladek fighting with Mala. An example is on page 134. On that page, Mala wants to go to the hairdresser because she has an appointment. Furthermore, Vladek doesn't let her go since he notices that Mala is going to the hairdresser more than usual. This shows a scene of Mala and Vladek fighting because one thinks totally different than the other, making a huge disagreement to happen, which then leads to fighting. This scene of fighting led me to the question because the reason they are fighting remains unclear. On page 135, and other pages, Vladek gives a reason why they are fighting. Vladek states that Mala only wants his money, and that she doesn't care about him. Furthermore, he says that this idea of money is making him crazy, because he is thinks Mala likes him because of his wealth, and not because of him. In my opinion, I disagree with this. Going back to page 134, Mala goes to the hairdresser and Vladek disagrees with this idea. The reason she wants to go to the hairdresser is because of care, and not because of money. Adding on page 134 shows that Vladek doesn't really care of Mala's ideas or opinions, and to prove that, page 96 is the answer. On that part of the book, Vladek is trying to fix the drain pipe while Mala tries to tell him just to call the engineer. Furthermore, Vladek ignores Mala and goes to the celling to fix the drain pipe himself. This page shows the main character's ignorance since he doesn't take in consider Mala's opinions. Going back to why they are fighting, Mala wants to go to the hairdresser because she thinks Vladek is not caring for her, since everything she offers is denied. Continuing, I think the real reason the fighting is happened is because of care since each of these characters didn't care for themselves.
<Image of Boxing Gloves>
What happened to Anja?
Throughout the whole book, There are multiple happenings that talk about Anja's death. One of them is when Vladek's son makes a comic. In his comic, he writes how Anja suicided without leaving a note. Furthermore, he states that his mother suicided because he didn't care of anything she said. This idea led me to the question because of what the end of the book says. On the last pages of the book, Vladek says that he and Anja were taken to two different directions, but he didn't know what happened to Anja. Going into further information, he didn't know if Anja was killed by the gas, or if she survived. Continuing, Vladek finally states that he couldn't find Anja's diaries as he scorched them into flames so that nobody would read the tragedy. This shows that Anja might not have suicided because Vladek hid everything. Normally, when someone hides any piece of information, it is because they don't want to anyone to find out a secret. If Vladek hid all diaries and states that he doesn't know what happened to Anja, then Anja might not have died because of Vladek's son (Leading to suicide), but because of something Vladek himself did to her since Vladek is acting guilty.
<Image of a Coffin>
Was the Smuggler's plan on making Vladek escape really just a trap?
On page 154 of the book, the Smugglers say that Abraham was successfully able to escape without any trouble from the Nazis. Later, when Vladek tried to do the same thing, one of the Smugglers phoned the Nazis, which then led Vladek to go to prison. After looking at this idea, I decided to make this question. The reason I think this is just a trap is because of the phone call. No person would call the a person's enemy to help the person escape, because then the escaper will perish the wrath of the enemy, and in this case, one of the Smugglers called the Nazis to chase the Jews boarding in the train. Another thing that makes me think it is a trap is because of Abraham's note. On his note, Abraham doesn't give any specific detail about his escape, and doesn't describe how his new life is. Instead, Abraham's note only states how he is free and happy. In my opinion, this note is clearly false because if a person escapes from an enemy land, he will write a lot more then just "I am happy," showing that Abraham might have also been chased by the Nazis in his try of escaping. In conclusion, I think the Smugglers might have been a spy from the Nazis because they captured Vladek.
<Image of a Mouse Trap>
These were some of the question that remained unclear even after reading the book.