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MAUS: Symbolism in Chapter Images
Transcript of MAUS: Symbolism in Chapter Images
After the birth of their first child Anja gets postpartum depression and Vladek takes her to a sanitarium to receive treatment.
On arrival to the sanitarium, vladek and the other passengers see a swastika flag hanging from the town and hear terrible stories about the treatment of jews in Germany.
The image in the beginning of the chapter symbolizes the holocaust and the beginning of Nazi rule.
It also shows that Vladek was very innocent and naive about the terrible things taking place elsewhere in Germany at that time.
The words “The Honeymoon” are also in the image. The symbolism being Vladek’s and Anja’s first trip together as a couple which was to the sanitarium, hence “The Honeymoon”.
Prisoner of War
Vladek is caught by the Nazi's and is forced to become a prisoner of war.
The symbolism in this chapter's image is the way the Nazi's treated the Jewish prisoners.
The Nazi's pointing their gun at Vladek in the image represents their threats.
They had power and control over the Jewish prisoners.
The Nazi's prolonged their labor and threats making the prisoners believe the harder the work, the better the outcome.
Thus, in the end, their their threats were useless because the Nazi's attempted to kill all prisoners.
The Noose Tightens
The image shows a nicely dressed Vladek dragging along a desperate looking Lucia.
Behind the picture of the vladek and Lucia are the words “The Sheik” which was a silent film made in 1921 starring a man named Rudolph Valentino.
The actor Rudolph Valentino was referenced earlier in the story by vladek with the line “People always told me I looked just like Rudolph Valentino”(13).
The symbolism in this chapter is the Jews and the Nazis. The rich man symbolizes the Nazis and their power and society.
While the desperate women symbolizes jews and their constant struggles to belong.
Vladek and Anja put their trust in some smugglers who guarantee that they can get them to Hungary.
The mouse trap with the two mice symbolizes Vladek and Anja and the fact that if they make one wrong move the trap will go off better known as getting caught by the Nazi's.
They get caught by the Germans and taken to Auschwitz.
The trap in a hypothetical way goes off in a sense that they get caught and later on Vladek and Anja get separated at the camp
Vladek and Anja along with some of their relatives must now hide in bunkers which ties into the picture of the mice hiding in a small closed area.
The abduction of Jews to camps has begun
Jews must stick together and hide from the Nazi's in order to spare their lives
In order for the Jews to be kept hidden many built bunkers which were small closed areas where they could hide from the Nazi's in the case of searches being conducted.
Some Jews had to remain in these bunkers for days causing them to almost become equivalent to their new homes
Vladek was able to escape the killing of all prisoners and made it home safe to his family.
The symbolism of the mice all hung by a noose represents the tension of the Jew's.
The Jews' struggle to survive and how hard it is to survive is what's creating all the tension.
Once the Jews saw the deaths of others, they knew that Hitler and the Nazi's were strengthening their power.
All Jews know that their lives are at risk because of Hitler's threats and acknowledge that following laws won't keep them safe for long.