Those Winter Sundays

 

In this short poem the writer talks about how a child’s father would wake up bright and early when the weather was still cold and the sun wasn’t up. As the poem reads the father has devoted his life to his kids, doing manual labor his whole life to support them. when the author says ” then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze.’ In my own opinion I believe that it is trying to say that he worked hard to give them a warm place to live, furthermore it goes on to say that nobody ever thanked him for all the hard work that he did for them. The author does a great job of giving the reader the noises that the house made when warm air took over the house. “I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.” This whole poem relates to my life in a big way considering the fact that my father does construction work for a living, it wasn’t till a couple years ago that i realized what he went through to get me some of the things that I wanted when I was a kid, or what he gave up to be at all of my events and never once did I thank him until then. Same as in the story the author never realized either till it was too late; he even went as far as to shine the shoes for them. However since that was almost the only time they saw him nobody the author acts like they didn’t really know the man that was taking care of them, it says that they speaked to him differently.  Furthermore the last line of the poem confused me, “what did I know of love’s austustere and lonely offices?”

Jude Maus

 

“I’d rather kill myself than live through all that… but in some ways he didn’t survive.” Maus: A Survivors Tale, chronicles the life of Vladek Spiegelman, a Polish Jew and survivor of the holocaust. This graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, Vladek’s son, was written over several years and contains a non-linear story line that connects to the tale of the fathers past. Throughout the book Art is interviewing his father about his memories of life in Poland before World War II and the gradual progression to him becoming a prisoner of Auschwitz only to finally becoming a freed prisoner of war. By presenting this as a graphic novel the author is able to allow the reader to connect to the characters faster and to allow factual evidence from a survivors point of view. While the main focus of the story is of the survival of Vladek and Anja, Art’s mother, there are many different underlying themes that the reader can pick up on. One theme is the constant comparison of Art and Richieu, Vladek and Anja’s first son who did not survive the war. “My ghost brother…the photo never threw tantrums or got in any kind of trouble…it was an ideal kid, and I was a pain in the ass. I couldn’t compete… the photo was a kind of reproach, he’d have become a doctor, and married a wealthy Jewish girl…it was spooky having a sibling rivalry with a snapshot” (Spiegelman part II pg 15). Time and again Art shows his aging father blame him for his own mistakes, and when Art is not there to blame his new wife Mala, and fellow holocaust survivor, is there sharing in his misfortune. Art shows a lot of resentment and contempt towards his father throughout the book; I believe that this comes from the vastly different lives that they have experienced. 

Survivors Point of View

In maus one the author does an excellent job of describing things from his fathers point of view especially in chapter one. The author makes it very obvious that there were some things that hsi father was very sensitive about so much that he did not want anything written or published about. One perfect example of this is when the father talks about his love/personal life and the complications that came about as a result. The author states that putting all of that into a book or a comic humanizes a story and makes it have more of a dramatic effect but yet the father still wanted nothing to do with any of that. I personally disagree with the fathers point of view on this subject. I have had a lot of trouble with reading over the years especially with some of the classics namely the hobbit as an example. If nothing happens in the first five pages I have trouble reading it. History books and other books I like including Maus now do an excellent job of both humanizing stories in a way that it scucks you in and then keeps your attention.

“Maus”: cover of “The Complete Maus”

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/141922/Cover-of-Art-Spiegelmans-The-Complete-Maus

I think that with this philosophy the author is trying to make a crucial point. He is basically arguing that people cannot understand the full impact of something, especially with things like holocausts and genocides. When many people study these areas in history all they want to know is the political and military side and what happened to all of the victims afterwords. But as the author is trying to poin out you need all three element of the story from beginning, to middle, to end in order to understand and appreciate the full impact of something.

A soul survivor…

Aside

A soul survivor

In the comic book of “Maus,” the author tells to his second son, Artie, who is a comic writer about his life story in the first part; his name is Vladek, and his lovable first wife whose name is Anja. Vladek tells his story about his childhood life with his parents especially with his father. For instance, Vladek’s father kept his children away from being drafted into the army. Whenever one of his children reached the age of 21, he used a technique which was three months before the army examination starts, he does not allow that particular son to get enough sleep, food nor water as to get him weaker before he goes to army examination so that he will not be chosen for the army. Since the father was successful in fooling the army with his first son, he followed the same method with Vladek; however, the army commander suggested Vladek to eat and exercise well and to try for army after a year. Vladek’s father wanted to use the same technique, but Valadek did not agree and joined the army.

Then the author talks about how he met Anja, his first wife. Anja’s came from a wealthy family; though she was so weak both mentally and physically, her husband loved her so much. Since they are Jews, they faced many problems with the Nazis army. They lost their first child, Richieu, to the war, and Vladek was taken as prisoner and was separated from his wife. 80% of the story is described in detail about the war with Nazis army and Valadek’s difficulties. After he faced some difficulties, he came back to Anja.

Little mouse Cartoon Stock Photo - 13775172

Valadek’s character is described as a very stingy yet a peculiar person. He collects and saves things of no wonder such as a piece of wire from the roadside and nails separated by size. From the cartoon, it can be deduced that he does not trust his second wife, Mala, with his life saving as much as he does his son. Not only he is miserly with his money, he also complains to his son about Mala as well. The life story of Vladek is  described perfectly through a comic cartoon.

And The Trouble Begins

The book The Complete Maus really helped me better understand the life of a family and how the war effected not only them during that time but how it shaped the rest of their lives and the effect it had on the next generation.  The book really gave me great insight on how the war really affected Artie even though he was never a part of it, and really everyone who was involved in Vladek’s life.  Artie made great comparisons of why his father was the way he was by being able to go back and forth from present time to how things were back during the Holocaust and give examples of why his father was a “Miser”, a survivor, or a hoarder of sorts.  His use of animals seemed to lessen just how really unimaginable it must have been going through something like that but it also made it easier to differentiate between the different characters in the book.

The book also shows the struggles of the people in Vladek’s life to be able to get along with him and to build a good, healthy relationship with him and in particular his son Artie.  It shows the guilt that Artie has as well about how he may not have been the son his father wanted him to be or that he, no matter how hard he tries, just cannot fully understand what his father went through. In a way it kind of can be related to how people from the Vietnam War or people who have been in prison their whole life and then get out and put in society.  It is hard for them to function “normally” because of what they went through and not having anyone around that can fully understand what they have been through.

A Telling Tail

Maus is an interesting read, this is the first time I have seen or read a book in comic strip form with such depth to it.  The main character is the father, Vladek, and his son, Artie, who have a very strenuous relationship.  Vladek is rather harsh with his son, as he blames him for many incidences that he actually caused to happen.  The book recaps the life of Vladek and the hardship that him and his family endured and eventually survived during World War II at the hands of the Nazi’s.  While the whole time Artie is taking notes so he can turn his father’s tale into a comic strip.

I believe the author, Art Spiegelman, is trying to tell the story of his father’s life and the horrific story that is World War II and the Holocaust.  The fact that he portrays the characters as animals I believe is to be able to tell the story, but to do so in a manner that would not bring an emotional reaction to people that read it.  With animal character instead of human ones, it desensitizes it in a way that allows for the story to be told and read.  The choice of characters in the book with the Nazi’s being the cats and the mice being the Jew’s is cleaver.  As cats hunt and kill mice, so did the Nazi’s hunt and kill the Jew’s.  It was an awful time, which I believe the author was trying to portray.  It was a fantastic read and cleverly written.  I will say I enjoyed it!

A different look into the Holocaust

I haven’t had an easy experience with reading Maus. I do not like comics, their format, the artwork used, or the feeling that I am missing out on something with every new page. It took me four tries before I can honestly admit to understanding the format of Maus. Each time I went to a new pane on the page I just got lost and couldn’t understand what I was supposed to be reading next. When I finally got over my initial confusion and frustration with this piece of literature I could see that there were things to appreciate in it, and to be able to see underlying emotion and the very real connection the author was establishing with the reader.

I have studied and restudied the Holocast and the events leading up to and its eventual tragic and victorious ending. I know the heartache it has wrought on an entire generation of mankind. I have shook hands with its victims. What I have the most knowledge of is the death, sickness, pain and utter evil that was present in those camps. This book helped to open my eyes to a different side of the Holocaust that I had never really learned about. I didn’t know about the mechanics of survival, the way corruption, for once, was right by me because it enabled a new group of warriors and survivors. It allowed me to understand that even in the eyes of insurmountable adversity there could be happiness, there is always a hope of victory.

What I have enjoyed about Maus is the way it allowed me to detach myself,however minimally, from the things I already know. It arousesd less emotion in me then other pieces of literature I have been obligated to read and I have been able to see the timeline of an event, how it evolved and how the way of life in Europe changed and turned upside down, all things I have never really thought about.

This book has been a learning process for me and I’m grateful for it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ankehuber/4309306020/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Those Winter Sundays

In the poem “Those Winter Sundays” the author talks about his hardworking father and all the things he did for his family with no thanks or appreciation. The questions in this situation would be, why did the father continue to do all these things to make it easier for the family constantly even though he was thanked or showed appreciation for his work? and why did the author and his family not help or thank the father?

In my opinion the reason the author and the family is so indifferent to the father i assume would be because the dad maybe also had constant anger issues and even though he did nice things for them, they were somewhat fearful of him. Possibly the father could be remorseful and does these things to and try to accommodate for past actions, or it could simply be the love of a father.

For the father it is more generally understood, that a good father takes care of his family no matter what. One assumes that everything he did was with good intention. In the poem the authors says, ” I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm he’d call.” From this one can infer that the father would brave the cold and go chop wood for fire and come back and heat the house and wait till the house was fully heated before the family would come out. Though one thanked him, he knows his duty as a father and shows his love though his actions.

In all the fathers actions in the end seemed to make the author question why his father did these things without being thanked, and also led him to question a fathers love.

Those Winter Sundays

In the poem “Those Winter Sundays”, Robert Hayden, the author, recalled how gentle of his father and his childhood, but he did not appreciate what his father did. When he grew up, he realized that he is unfilial and regret what he did to his father. His father needs to work on every weekday. On Sundays, he also got up early when the sun has not risen. He wore his clothes in the cold morning with his ached hand. It meant he works are very hard. He kept working for the family in the weekend, but no one thanks him. Hayden was regretting why he did not realize what he father did for the family. His father woke him up when the room became warm in the cold winter. He dressed slowly because he feared the chronic angers of the family. The second stanza shows that his father really loves this family, but there are problems in this family to make Hayden fear. His father helped the family to drive the cold and polished Hayden’s shoe, but he spoke impolite to his dad. The last sentence of the poem shows that Hayden is too regretful for hurting his father feeling and ignoring his austere and lonely.

This poem reminded me what I did to my parents. When I was studying in high school, I had haven a part time job. I always went back home at the midnight, so I see my parents infrequently even though we lived together. My parents always wanted to care for me, so they always called me and asked me some recent situation, but I always impolite to them. I used to think they are very troublesome to ask me too many questions of my life. However, I realized how much my parents love me when I came to Dallas. Their calls are the most wonderful things in the world.

Evidence

    Evidence is the support of a central idea, something used to lure the other person to a principle or thought. Evidence is used in almost every part of life, from politics to business. There are four different types of evidence, including: Personal Experience, Reports from articles, Authority, and dramatic contexts.

    Personal experience is a type of evidence that uses a person’s experience to compel another person to their side of the argument. Stating “I was there, I saw it with my own eyes,” is an example of personal experience being used as an authoritative device. Reports from newspapers are a very easy way to use evidence as supportive material. Using an excerpt from the wall street journal stating that jobs have indeed decreased from the beginning of the Obama administration is a great way to convince someone of the truth. Another good way to persuade using evidence is through authority. Hiring a tax attorney to attest to the legitimacy of a company’s use of deduction is a great way to use authoritative evidence. Dramatic context is one of the easiest ways to influence a reader to a specific side of an argument. Writing a story descriptively about a death row inmate being executed would easily sway a person away from supporting the death penalty to another view. Evidence has been used since the beginning of time to convince people of different ideas, and as long as persons have arguments and disagreements evidence will continue to be prominent throughout society and will never be forgotten.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

In the poem “Dulce Et decorum Est.”, the author Wilfred Owens describes a scene invloving soldiers during war. The phrase “Dulce Et decorum Est” is quoted from Horace and it means “It is sweet and dutiful to die for one’s one country.” After reading the poem, I believe the author of this poem does not agree with this quotation. At the very end of the poem he writes “My friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory, The Old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”. Owen’s calling this phrase the old lie gives undoubtful evidence that he thinks different from Horace.In addition, he even infers that no one should tell this such “lie” or phrase to children. When he uses the term “desperate for glory” he makes me think that people who believe in this “old lie” want others to to think highly of war and to believe that dying during war is something respected.

I think Owens uses, at lease two of the three, of Aristotle’s rheotical appeals to convince us readers of his claim that it is not sweet to die for one’s country. Out of ethos, pathos, and logos, I recognize ethos and pathos being used the most in Wilfred Owen’s poem. The description of a soldier dying by drowning is an example of pathos. The emotion the author uses when he says “He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning……….and watch the white eyes writhing in his face……if you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs” makes the reader feel bad or sympathize with people who have died like this, and the ones who watched the death. Chapter Two taught us that poetic structure can increase the appeal of pathos. The fact that Owens uses broken down lines in his poem compared to regular essay format makes the reader read slower and feel more emotion. Owens also uses ethos, or evidenence, because the poem is in first person. The description in the poem is probably actually what Owens experienced. The descriptive words from the poem make it seem as if Owen’s seen these events with his own eyes. He recalls what he sees and even what he hears.

I actually do not agree nor disagree with Wilfred Owen. I respect everyone who fights for their country, especially the ones who have lost their life along the way. However, I personally would not want to be a soldier. It might be dutiful to die for one’s country, but I do not believe it would be sweet, at all.

Fredrico’s Ghost

This poem, “Fredrico’s Ghost,” is an example of pathos, which is an example of rhetoric. Pathos is best described as creating trust and credibility, just as this poem did. This poem is about a little boy who rejected the idea of being forced to work by position of people and power. This poem appeals to your emotions by explaining that helicopters would spray this poison over all the workers, including Fredrico; and it says, “leaving the skin beneath his shirt wet and blistered.’ The author does a wonderful job of being descriptive in the poem to appeal to the audience’s emotion. The author used words such as, “skinny boy, blistered, and wet,” in order to give the audience a more visual perspective.

This is a story that is emotional to read, because the little boy who was protesting against the authority figures and stood up for what he believed in. I thought the poem did a wonderful job of appealing to pathos. I think the author truly told the story of this boy, and even down to the way the poem was written and structured. She does not write in the way we are used to see poems written. However, the emphasis on certain words or phrases, or the way it was structured made a huge impact on what was important. Such as, when the author said, “over the pickers, who thrashed like dark birds, in a glistening white net.” Also, coming from who knew nothing about the situation, the author in this poem truly appealed to my emotions, by appealing to personal feeling on certain situations I was not aware of. It gave me a whole new outlook on those situations after reading this poem.