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Maus - Book 1, Chapter 6

'Mause Trap'
by

Tomáš Titěra

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of Maus - Book 1, Chapter 6

Survival
Important scenes & themes throughout the chapter
Maus - Book 1, Chapter 6
Races as
animals

Guilt
Mala talks about the changes in Vladek's personality
Art comes to see Vladek, but he meets Mala crying in the kitchen
Significance of the scene
Further exploration of Vladek-Mala relationship issues
Specific way of Vladek's deformation due to the Holocaust experience
Art: 'In some ways he is just like the racist caricature of the miserly old Jew'
Anja and Vladek sneak out to Sosnowiec and live by Richieu's governess
Anja and Vladek move to Ms. Kawka's house as it is safer
When going to to the black market, Vladek always wears the pig mask
Significance of the scene
Points at the inner struggle between the survival instincts and the religious beliefs
Wearing a pig mask = suppression of the Jewish pride
Anja and Vladek try to find some better place to stay, but they don't succeed
When Ms Kawka's husband comes home (he works in the army), Anja and Vladek have to stay in the cellar full of rats
Significance of the scene
Ms Kawka says: "You're better off with the rats than with the Gestapo..."
Why are they so scared of rats, when they are mice?
Anja and Vladek decide to escape to Hungary. They are tricked by the smugglers.
The smugglers report them to Gestapo in the train
Class debate
Can the acting of the smugglers ever be justified in terms of war conditions?
Read the part with the smugglers to refresh your memory (pp 154-158)
Divide into two groups - Yay and Nay
Find arguments to support your side
Anja and Vladek arrive to Auschwitz in a truck
The arrival
Significance of the scene
The biggest frame in the book so far
Really well created atmosphere
rain, dogs, silhouette of the Gestapo man on the right, dark Arbeit macht frei sign
Vladek admits to Art that he burned the diaries Anja wrote
After Vladek admits it, he feels sorry
Significance of the scene
By burning Anja's diaries, he kills the remaining part of her personality - the one part that Art wanted to get to know through them
For the first time Vladek feels guilt
The Themes
Fear
Development
of the
relationships
Full transcript