For most people, survival is just a matter of putting food on the table, making sure that the house payment is in on time, and remembering to put on that big winter coat.Prisoners in the holocaust did not have to worry about such things.Their food, cloths, and shelter were all provided for them.Unfortunately, there was never enough food, never sufficient shelter, and the cloths were never good enough.The methods of survival portrayed in the novels Maus by Art Spieglmen and Night by Elie Wiesel are distinctly different, but undeniably similar.
The means of survival in the book Night differ greatly from the means of survival in Maus.In Night, there is more of a ruthless demeanor in their struggle to survive.This is evident especially in the intense struggle for food.And example of this is when the book says, “Meir, Meir, my boy!Don’t you recognize me?I’m your father … you’re hurting me… you’re killing your father!I’ve got some bread … for you too… for you too…”(Wiesel96)In this passage it describes a boy beating his father to death over a piece of bread on the way to a concentration camp.Survival was not this intense in the book Maus.In that book, survival was merely a fight to stay out of the concentration camps. An example of this in Maus is when it says “So in the yard, we made a hiding place, a bunker.
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” (Spieglmen86)Here, it explains their worries are not about staying alive in the concentration camps, but rather staying out of the concentration camps themselves.In Maustheir survival had a lot to do with having connections in high places. They would have to know someone that knew someone that could get something for them in order to stay out of the concentration camps.An example of this is when they are in the stadium where they get their passports stamped.
This is evident when it says “Me and Anja came to the table where my cousin was sitting… so we got stamped our passports and come quick to the good side of the stadium. Those they sent left, they didn’t get any stamp.”(Spieglmen90)This is different from Night in the sense that it didn’t matter who you were or who you knew.You got treated the same as everyone else. No matter how many differences there were in the way the books portrayed survival, there are still similarities that can’t be ignored.The means of survival in the books are similar in the way that they both had the sheer determination that kept them alive.
In the book Night, it is evident when it says “An endless road.Letting oneself be pushed by the mob, letting oneself be dragged along by a blind destiny.”(Wiesel 83)Here the author is describing how he survived through nothing but a determination that drove him to the point of not giving up, even though it was almost physically impossible. If it wasn’t for that determination, he would have been trampled mercilessly by the mob.An example of survival by determination in Maus would be when Vladek had spent such an extensive amount of time building an elaborate cellar to hide from the Gestapo. This is evident when it says “In the kitchen was a coal cabinet, maybe four feet wide.Inside I made a hole to go down to the cellar… and there we made a hole to down to the cellar… and there we made a brick wall filled high with coal.Behind this wall we could.