Analysis Of `` Maus `` By Art Spiegelman

1945 WordsSep 24, 20148 Pages
Empathy is a difficult feeling to capture. The graphic novel Maus, written and drawn by Art Spiegelman, illustrates himself trying to relate with his father, Vladek, by having him recount his story as a Holocaust survivor. The novel deals with Artie’s struggle to understand the Holocaust and his father’s situation as best as he can without having lived through it; he wishes he could have known what his father went through and could comprehend his situation. The postmodern story of Maus uses the drawings of his characters and the testimonies of others to create a connection with his father’s memory. Maus was written in 1980, making it a work of the postmodern period. The text utilizes cultural criticism, enabling the usage of high and low culture by talking about a serious topic within an infantile comic book. Maus enacts the difficulty of working through a traumatic historical past and is a primitive representation of the postmodern self struggling to come to terms with this damaged and wounded history in a conscious manner. The characters are represented as animals with human features: Jews are mice, Germans are cats, Polish are pigs, and Americans are dogs. This plays on the cat-and-mouse rivalry, removing emotionally intense implications from the narrative and replacing them with a juvenile metaphor. When the victimized and victimizing nationalities are shown as humorous animals instead of humans, the family tragedy is alienated and forced to be viewed as purely
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