Criticism Perpetrates Resentment

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Criticism Perpetrates Resentment “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head” Ann Landers Blood is thicker than water, or is it? Blood-ties to parents should be sacred, eternal and the foundation for the rest of our lives to rest upon. In Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and Maus II a major theme is one of resentment, based on Art’s feelings of resentment of his father for not having experienced the Holocaust, for living while his older brother is dead, and for not being the best son to his father. These situations have built upon one another, and have created an unending cycle of resentment and criticism between father and son and husband and wife. A parent’s first responsibility is to build a foundation for their children. In doing so, there must be kindness, support, encouragement, respect and above all love. Spiegelman’s relationship with his father is precariously perched upon guilt, dissatisfaction and criticism, and these feelings have created a cycle in which has left Artie with less than love and respect for Vladek, who in turn treats Artie with more disdain, frustration and condemnation. A spouse’s first duty is to unconditionally love and respect their significant other. Vladek shows his love for Anja by providing, protecting and preserving everything to help her survive the Holocaust. Whereas, constant frugality leads Mala to believe Vladek cannot love at all. This continuous cycle eventually leads Mala to abandon Vladek for a time, causing him to have more resentment for his wife. Although Vladek is a successful, frugal businessman, and loving husband to Anja, Vladek is less than loving, more often, degrading and demeaning to his second son Artie and second wife Mala, causing a malicious series of events founded on resentment and criticism between father/son and husband/wife. First, in Maus, Spiegelman
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