A Connection

Though Maus was not a book I would have read on my own, it did offer a connection to my life. I have known people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression and Spiegelman’s descriptions of his mother really struck home. Before there was any extensive research in psychology depression was very misunderstood. In the novel Spiegelman’s father explains that the way they handled Anna’s depression was send her away. Later we realize that sending Anna away did not help her depression it only masked it. This is how depression has been handled for a very long time. Doctors used to try to cover up the problem because they did not know how to fix it. Today there have been tremendous advances in the study of psychology. Today there are many treatments that have proven effective for the treatment of depression. Some of the treatments include talk-therapy, hypnosis, and prescription medication. Even with the many advances depression is hard to understand by all those who come in contact with it. Depression can affect all aspects of your life including work, school, and personal relationships. Dealing with or knowing someone who has depression is an extremely private and personal matter. Art Spiegelman telling his readers about his mother’s depression opens a window into his soul. The audience now is not just reading about something terrible that happened to some far off people; they are reading about a tragedy that happened to a real family.  This connection between me and the author has made the story more real to me.

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4 thoughts on “A Connection

  1. This is so true, depression is extremely difficult to understand. Even those who are experiencing it don’t always understand it, it hurts, but there is no external source of the pain, its all internal. Even with the advances in medicine, many medications are no better than the “treatment” Anja got for her depression; they only mask it temporarily. Art also seems suffer from depression, he says in The Prisoner from the Hell Planet that he had been in a mental institution, severely depressed people often were placed in mental hospitals to protect them from doing just what Anja did.However, later in the book you find out that he sees a shrink, I would assume that it is for the same or a related issue.

  2. I totally agree. Because of this I felt more like I was reading the authors diary instead of a normal story. The descriptions of his struggles with relating to his father and how he felt about his mother suicide add yet another dimension to the story other then the holocaust. He even includes his thoughts about the holocaust itself and his struggles with the success of his book. the phrase “a window into his soul” is an apt metaphor.

  3. I like that in you took something in Maus that related to you and that you felt a connection to the author. Depression is a very serious illness; I personally have never suffered from it but like anything you have to confront the problem in order to solve it. I felt like Vladek tried to pretend like Anja was fine and there was no problem. He didn’t face it for example he said in the end of the book “we [Vladek and Anja] were both very happy, and lived happy, happy ever after.” Everyone has some problem or baggage they carry around their whole life, but by not confronting the issue the problem gets worse than better, as you can see what happened in to Anja in the book. No one has a perfect life, but by not trying to fix the problem at hand can make matters worse.

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