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Vladek Spiegelman and WWII

            Imagine fighting in WWII, surviving a Nazi concentration camp and living through a wife's suicide. Vladek Spiegelman, the main character in the graphic novel MAUS by art Spiegelman, lives to tell about his tortured life in an interview with his son decades later. The father tells his son the story of how he survived the Holocaust. The interview causes Vladek to relive his terrible past but also shows how he had to be tenacious, brave, and determined to survive these horrors. .
             Tenacity is a trait that describes someone who never gives up. Vladek is definitely tenacious because he stays strong through the duration of the story. Vladek explains "To die, it's easy But you have to struggle for life! Until the last moment we must struggle together" (Spiegelman 124). Vladek's wife, Anja wants to give up but Vladek convinces her to stay strong. Next, when Vladek is a prisoner of war, he is put to work constantly but never gives up while fighting to live. "So we worked day after day, we survived. Week after week the same" (60). Vladek never gives up on himself nor Anja. His actions show just how tenacious he really is.
             Not everyone can be brave and being in Vladek's position, he had to be. When he was a prisoner he regularly bathed in freezing water to avoid disease. Vladek tells the others "I'll be clean! And I'll feel warm all day in comparison" (55). It is gutsy of Vladek to bathe because the others who had tried to bathe in the river got frostbite wounds. It was a risk but paid off because he was able to avoid disease. Also, Vladek is brave when he sneaks throughout the streets to his father's old house. Vladek explains to Anja "We've got to get off the streets before dawn" (138). It is extremely brave of Vladek to go out into the open because even thought he is disguised he and his wife could have been easily discovered. This was a huge risk because if they had been discovered they could have been taken as prisoners.

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