What's The Matter With Vladek?

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I was upset with the ending. I wish I had a copy of the second part of this book. It ended so abruptly. I was puzzled as to why Vladek got rid of all of Anja's journals. Her story was just as important to tell as his. After finishing the novel, I really disliked his character. I felt sorry for the things he went thorough, but he should appreciate life more than he actually does. The way he treats Mala is awful. From the few times Mala appears, she doesn't seem to be as awful as they make her out to be. When Vladek talks about being sick and Mala saying, "I want the money! The money! The money!" That seems a bit extreme, especially considering how cheap Vladek is. Its unfortunate that Vladek made a mistake by remarrying but Mala has to pay the price. Now, Artie isn't completely innocent. He is pretty rude to Mala also. It seems as much as Art is trying to distance himself from his father, he is becoming like him anyways.

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Melissa Schwenk said:

I, too, was surprised by the ending. I couldn't believe that Artie would call his father a murderer for destroying Anja's diaries. However, I can also see why he wouldn't want them aroud. It would be a painful reminder of the times he had shared (both good and bad since she wrote them after the war) together.

As far as how mean Vladek is to Mala, I think he should have been nicer to her, but at the same time I can see the justification of why he was so guarded about money. I wish that there had been something somewhere in the story that showed some insight or good characteristic of Mala's. Still, I argue that Mala's charcter could be completely gotten rid of and the story would have been the same, which I argue about in my blog. Overall, I think Mala was just an additional character that was necessary to show Vladek's other side in the present time.

Gladys Mares said:

I never thought about why Mala was even in the story. Your right, I think they could have left her out and it would have been just as effective. It was really strange to me that they just showed one side of her story. There was never any proof of her being money hungry or as awful as they both made her out to be. I did notice however, that in the second book Art Spiegelman thanks Mala for translating from polish to english and for wanted the book to happen. So maybe Art didn't dislike Mala as much as I thought he did.

Dianna Griffin said:

Gladys, I was ticked at the way he ended the book too. I mean I don't have the time or money to read the 2nd book. I mean come on, why couldn't he just put it all together.

I too feel bad for Mala. It seems like he denies the fact that she went through the Holocaust like him. He seems to only be focusing on his losses when he should be helping her to cope as well. It's sad that this story is actually true and that Vladek is actually doing this to Mala.

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