Vladek, The Emotionless father

“The other prisoners get two meals a day, we Jews get only a crust of bread and a little soup” (pg 55). I would have starved to death within the first week. The horrors that the Jews faced in the concentration camps are beyond belief, yet none of the horrors we all know about are even mentioned in Art’s story. That’s because Vladek doesn’t talk about it. I don’t think that the emotion was ever filtered out of his mouth; Vladek simply has blocked it from his memory and therefore doesn’t say what he can’t remember. It is very perplexing how Vladek is able to block out almost all of the emotion when telling his stories. It seems like Vladek has a bit of post traumatic stress disorder.

Art and his father have a very distant relationship; partly due to the fact that the world art knows and the world Vladek knows are immensely different. Vladek has seen the devastation mankind is capable of, while Art on the other hand knows only of emotionless stories that Vladek tells him. This is very apparent in the beginning of the story when art comes in to the house and says that his friends skated away leaving him behind. Vladek disgustedly tells Art how the only way to develop friendship is “If you lock them in a room with no food for a week” (pg 6). Vladek is emotionally distant from Art because he has blocked all of the emotional thoughts that he can’t handle deep into his subconscious.

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One thought on “Vladek, The Emotionless father

  1. Yea I agree, I would probably starve to. I think that Vladek’s only way to cope with what went on during the war was to block it out. I think you see that a lot with people who have gone through horrific circumstances in the since that the only way for them to try to go on with a sum what normal life is to just block it out. Artie and Vladek do have a distant relationship but I would put a lot of that on Artie becuase he knows what his father went through so he should be more engaging with him and try to figure out how best to have a relationship with him and try to help him not dismiss him at every turn.

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