Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

July 26, 2012
By YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Maus 1 is a graphic memoir depicting the effects and aftereffects of a time of dictatorship, violence, and suffering: a time that compelled Jews to not only hide from the wrath of Hitler’s power, but to battle every day the risk of being snatched by the hands of Death, a time when people were worked harder than any worker, ran faster than any sprinter, ate less than any faster. It was a time when people were mercilessly ceased, as if they were subhuman puppets.. Every day is a day on the edge, a day in which they must struggle just to survive. To those not involved in this deracination, it may seem imperceptible, almost impossible for an event of this harmful magnitude to occur. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There are still millions of people worldwide fighting to survive with just the bare minimum needs, in constant fear of being approached by a Devil-like figure with the intent to murder. Maus 1 confesses those effects and goes further to reveal shrouded hints on how to prevent further genocide.
Most of the genocides occur due to long-term conflict between opposing political factions, resulting in perspectives that keep their group superior to the other group(s). Art Spiegelman offers just one of many genocides that occur due to discrimination and a want for a “cleansing of impurities. There are many genocides occurring right now, from Sudan to Syria to North Korea back to Africa in DR Congo. Each of these genocides are in their most harmful phases. There is no stable government, economically the citizens are distraught, and culturally and socially, there is no harmony, no unity, and no peace.
The question always arises: So, what can we, more privileged and resourceful citizens of well-off countries do to mitigate the suffering of the helpless people? Countries like USA and the whole United Nations have peace corps and other non-governmental organizations that help the countries in chaos. But for some reason, it does not seem to be working. What the countries need to understand is that instead of restricting their help to keep in par with their image and status as a country, they should relinquish any thought of division in order to help these countries. If the resourceful countries themselves are corrupted and more interested in gaining power and dominance, how will the less resourceful countries even develop? It’s a matter of moral, something that is unfortunately being washed away as religion, society, and people are debauched by daily situations of violence, greed, and deceit.
Nevertheless, the resourceful countries do make a valid point. What are they going to get by helping these countries? Even if they are resourceful, they are not infinitely supplied with whatever they need. This has occurred many times. The United Nations pulled out of countries in chaos because they were not getting anywhere and were losing many lives. This made those countries, such as Sudan, go into more chaos and make it even harder to control.
Still, the question that was posed a few paragraphs has not been answered: ‘What can we, more privileged and resourceful citizens of well-off countries do to mitigate the suffering of the helpless people?”
I personally feel the only way to significantly help the poor people in these dilapidated countries is to actually go to the countries, observe the people there and personally help the adults and children. This is the only way to make sure your own resources are being transported for the right cause. It is also the only way to feel the suffering and pain that these children and adults feel daily. It is a common fact that rather than just viewing something, actually doing it requires more courage, more fearlessness, and more willpower. But the effects of being there with the people is astonishingly different than viewing them on TV. I know this, because I personally went to the slums in India and helped those children who did not have any parents and were previously living in train stations or in tunnels. Most people have just seen the slums of India, possibly from Slumdog Millionaire. They just view it as a movie, and then temporarily feel pity for the children. A few days later, however, they could care less about those children. Actually experiencing the life of those children keeps a permanent memory in your brain. I only volunteered for a few days. But I still remember every little detail of the children and the shelter.
The point of the essay is not to look down upon the countries that do not help, or the people who just could care less about this topic. It is more of a warning, a foreboding, that without the values that were stated above, the world is falling into deeper troubles and miseries. And even if something doesn’t happen on December 21, 2012, if we keep things the way they are currently, it won’t be long before the world as we know it now will be only a cherished memory, a memory that people will regret not doing anything for the rest of their lives.

**And for those without the resources to go to these countries and help them, try to help your community, or yourself for that matter. Spend a little time thinking about what you have done wrong, and meditate for at least 45 minutes every day. If you are at peace with yourself, you can conquer anything. It may seem like a movie dialogue, but it is true. Just give it a shot.

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This article has 1 comment.

Snipars said...
on Nov. 10 2014 at 3:08 pm
>MVF It's a good book to read if ur a history fan, don't stop reading this book or u'll get bored if u try to continue. I r8 8/8 m8s!  

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