83 pages 2 hours read

Art Spiegelman


Nonfiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Adult | Published in 1986

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Part 1, Chapters 5-6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1

Part 1, Chapter 5 Summary: “Mouse Holes”

Mala calls a sleeping Art about Vladek’s failed attempt to fix the pipe leak himself. Art wants him to hire a handyman, but Vladek finds a neighbor to help him first. Art complains to his wife, Françoise, about how he hated helping his father as a child and how he became an artist to avoid feeling inferior to him.

A week later Art finds that Vladek is passive aggressive to him. Mala tells Art of Vladek finding Art’s “Prisoner on the Hell Planet,” a scathing autobiographical comic about Anja’s suicide. Vladek tells Art that he understands that it was Art’s way of getting it “out of [his] system” (106), but that Vladek still thinks about Anja all the time. They walk together to the bank as Vladek continues his story.

In 1943 the Nazis order Sosnowiec Jews to move to the ghetto of Srodula and pay the Polish people’s moving expenses. Jewish guards force residents to march every day and work at shops. Persis, a Jewish councilman in Zawiercie, convinces the family to give Richieu and four other family members to him for protection. As the roundups intensify, the family creates a bunker under a coal bin. When authorities move them into another house, they make one in the attic.

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By Art Spiegelman