Essay about Maus: A Survivor's Tale

1704 Words 7 Pages
Maus: A Survivor's Tale, by Art Spiegelman, tells the story of his father's survival in Auschwitz during the Holocaust, as well as about Art's relationship with his father, brought out through the interview process and writing the two books. The subject matter of the two books is starkly juxtaposed with the style in which it was written, that is, it is a graphic novel. In most simple terms, the story is told in a sort of comic, with characters represented as animals based on their race or nationality (Jews are presented as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, and Americans as dogs). While the cartoon had once been reserved for rather childish and light subject matter, Spiegelman has brought it to a whole new level as a medium capable …show more content…
The two pages begin with a frame where Art Spiegelman as the cartoonist (we know it is the Art as the cartoonist, partly due to the scene, but also in great part due to the use of masks rather than the complete animal metaphor used throughout the rest of the novel) is being interviewed by a pair of dogs, as specified earlier, signifying Americans. The characters are standing upon this pile of mice corpses with flies buzzing around them. As the frames continue, Art Spiegelman is further accosted by different groups of people. Following the dogs, a man wearing a cat mask begins to interview Art about the criticism he has been receiving in Germany. After the man in the cat mask, a person in a mouse mask asks him about Israel. Following the person in the mouse mask, another person appears in a mask that is trying to make a business offer, but the type of animal that is represented is indistinguishable. Also in this frame, the image of Art begins to shrink as he sits in the chair. In the following two final frames on the first page continue, Art's image shrinks even further until he is the size of a small child. It is even seen that he is acting like a small child as he begins to cry. On the next page the frames begin again, but all the people that were previously interviewing him have disappeared. However, in the corner of the first frame, there is a fly still buzzing around. Then in the next frame, Art makes further commentary about
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