Analysis Of The Book ' Maus ' Essay

1907 WordsOct 20, 20168 Pages
A swastika, a cat, and two despondent looking like mice. The old maxim goes you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover of Maus aptly sets us up for a reading experience like no other. Maus is a graphic novel that aims to display the gruesome, deplorable, and dehumanizing events that occurred during the Holocaust. The Holocaust, in simple terms, was the brutal genocide of over six million Jews by the hands of the Germans. It can be argued that at its core, Maus is a novel about the father-son relationship between Art Spieglmen and his father, Vladek. What separates Maus from various other novels published about the Holocaust, is the medium Spiegelmen uses to stylize his story. Maus is read through a series of expressive comic strips and Spiegelmen opts for animal masks to represent the humans in the novel, which has a multitude of impacts on the novel. The choice of animals associated with their typical “people” clearly tends to the wickedness of Holocaust, with each animal representing their own allegorical meaning. On the flip side, the usage of animals can be interpreted as means to lighten up a saddening story, and in effect desensitize the Jewish plight. Moreover, after reading “Prisoner of Hell Planet”, (The short, almost surreal, comic strips illustrated by Spiegelmen as humans, which predates Maus and concerns the suicide of his mother) we truly experience this different set of emotions evoked from humans vs that of animals. There is a striking contrast in

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