Mr. Coward and Mr. Brazil: 8th Grade English

Maus Study Questions: Chapter 6: "Mouse Trap" (40 points total)

  1. On pages 130 to 134 How would you describe the relationship between Artie and Mala?

  2. a) sympathetic.  b) comfortable.  c) thoughtful.  d) understanding.  e) all of these.
  3. (3) How do Artie & Mala view Vladek?  Do they have the same viewpoint?  Why might they?

  5. (2) They both have so many issues with Vladek, yet they continue to spend time with him.

  6. -What does Artie need from Vladek?
    -What does Mala need from Vladek?

  7. (4) Compare this passage with the conversation between Vladek and Artie on pages 125 to 127, at the end of Chapter 5.  How does Vladek view Mala?  How does Vladek view Artie?  Does he have issues with each of them?  If so, why does he continue to deal with them?

  9. On page 131, Artie brings up the issue of stereotypes.  Why is it important to him that in his

  10. book Maus, Vladek should not appear as simply "the racist caricature of the miserly old Jew"?
  11. (2) Why should we avoid lumping people together by stereotypes?  What might we miss?

  13. (2) On page 133, Vladek says "Yes.  I know already my story by heart, and even I am

  14. interested". What does he mean?  Why did Mala assume that Vladek would be interested?
  15. (3) Vladek compares Artie to Walt Disney.  Why does this seem so funny to Artie?  Would Artie ever think of himself as similar to Walt Disney?  Why might we compare those two cartoonists?

  17. Chapter 6 shows us how Vladek and Anja hid from the Nazis, once they were separated from the rest of their family.  Could they have hid in all the same places if they still had Richieu with them?

  19. On page 136, why does Richieu's old governess, Janina, refuse to help Vladek and Anja?

  21. Yet Mr. Lukowski, the janitor, does help them.  What is different about the two situations?

  23. (3) Vladek has many opportunities to use his dissembling, "passing", and black market skills in Chapter 6.  What is your impression of his amazing natural ability?  What does Anja think of it?  What is Vladek's justification for these, somewhat less than legal, activities?

  25. (4) Mrs. Motonowa, a seller of black market goods, hides Vladek and Anja in her own home.

  26. Why does she choose to take such a risk?  What is her primary motivation?  What hints do we
    get which help us to determine this?  What other hints do we get that might change our view?

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  27. (2) Even though Vladek and Anja have a hiding place with Mrs. Motonowa, Vladek decides to go to Hungary.  Why is this important to him?  Why is Anja so afraid of leaving Poland?

  29. Why does Vladek choose to trust the smugglers?  What mistake has Vladek made?  How is this situation similar to when Vladek's cousin first introduces him to Anja, back on page 16?

  31. Spiegelman is using a technique known as foreshadowing.  Why is this effective in helping

  32. us to better understand Vladek's strengths and weaknesses as a character?
  33. (2) After Vladek and Anja are arrested, Vladek still finds a way to make himself useful.

  34. Why is this always such an important thing to Vladek?  What does he gain by his actions?

    By page 157, Vladek has told Artie the whole story leading up to how he and Anja ended up
    in Auschwitz.  We also know that, somehow, both he and Anja survived Auschwitz.

    On page 158, Vladek tells Artie that he destroyed Anja's diaries, after her suicide.
    Artie is so upset by this, that he yells and curses at Vladek and calls him a "murderer."

    Art Spiegelman dedicates Maus to Anja.  He also thanks Mala, his wife Francoise, and
    six other friends who gave moral support and encouragement to him while he wrote Maus.

    Surprisingly, Spiegelman does not thank Vladek.

    He ends Maus with Artie walking away, still calling Vladek a "murderer."

  35. What does this ending tell us about the relationship between Artie and Vladek?

  37. Do you think that Anja and Vladek would approve of this ending? (why, or why not).

  39. Why do you like, or dislike, the ending of Maus?

  41. Do you feel that you have heard the whole story? (why, or why not).

  43. Why might you want to read Maus II?

  45. Why do you think Art Spiegelman chose this particular ending for Maus?