A Bump in the Road
"It's something that worries me about the book I'm doing about him. In some ways he's just like the racist caricature of the miserly old Jew" (Spiegelman 131).
OK, this is more of a call-out for opinion than anything else, because I cannot figure out how I feel about this section of the book. Spiegelman is airing his concerns for the novel we're reading, within the pages of the novel itself. Should he really be doing that? Here were my initial issues with this choice:
1. The character of Vladek stands on his own, and Spiegelman's summarization of how Vladek will be perceived takes away validity of alternate views.
2. This was a tell vs. show moment. Or, rather, a telling after showing moment. I think Speigelman did a good job of putting together a deep, diverse character in Vladek. When he second-guesses himself in this instance, it's like he's beating us over the head with something, saying, "In case you couldn't tell by the 100 previous pages, my father likes money and is sometimes cranky." It was unnecessary.
3. It came off as a cop-out to me. As though by saying, "this is what I'm afraid of" Spiegelman is trying to guarrantee the feared occurrence won't take place. If there were other sides of Vladek's personality that Spiegelman wanted to show, he should've shown them too us. If his father, indeed, has all the qualities of the stereotypical Jew, then I fail to see where the issue lies.
-This was just one awkward section of an otherwise impressive story. Though, I do not think it was harmful enough to ruin the story, I do think that Spiegelman needed to find another way to deal with his concerns. I'm sure there are support groups for nervous novelists, anxious authors, and worried writers.