Analysis of The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman

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When reading a traditional book, it is up to the reader to imagine the faces and landscapes that are described within. A well written story will describe the images clearly so that you can easily picture the details. In Art Spiegelman’s The Complete Maus, the use of the animals in place of the humans offers a rather comical view in its simplistic relation to the subject and at the same time develops a cryptic mood within the story. His drawings of living conditions in Auschwitz; expressions on the faces of people enduring torture, starvation, and despair; his experience with the mental institution and his mother’s suicide; and occasional snapshots of certain individuals, create a new dynamic between book and reader. By using the form of…show more content…
Art shows the obsessive compulsive aspects of Vladek with intensity. As you listen to Vladek’s story, you begin to understand his driving need to keep everything. Living in an infested prison with little food and drink, he had to learn to survive. With small tokens from his life before Auschwitz, Art began to make allies and trade for food and clothing. Teaching English to a guard and acquiring some basic necessities for survival, as a tinsmith he found people to trade for food and gave gifts to his Kapo to gain favor and better treatment, he even fixed the boots of his wife’s Kapo and afterwards his wife was no longer treated so poorly. Vladek had to salvage anything that might be of value to someone else and eventually was even able to move his wife closer so he could keep an eye on her. Soon his obsession with saving anything he can get his hands on starts to make sense. As you take in the story of Auschwitz, there are moments when you realize how easily he Vladek is telling the story. He describes times when the prisoners are inspected for health and if they pass they are sent back to the barracks to continue working and if they are too sick then they are removed from the camp. Art uses the smokestack to represent those who are taken away and sent to the gas chamber, the devastating image is chilling and leaves a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. It is such a simple drawing, small

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