Maus by Art Spiegelman Essay

1913 Words 8 Pages
Why are comics not appreciated as much as the dry narratives of novels in the literary world? A comic is composed of symbols to express concepts shared by all people in their own social environment, and provide more tools than conventional art to truly show artistic intention.
Comics exist to expose the ethnic representations that seek to control the development of collective perceptions, memories and emotions and especially fear by investigating the techniques through which this control is maintained. Maus I is a true account of a Holocaust survivor, Vladek Spiegelman, and his experiences as a young Jew during the horrors leading up to the confinement in Auschwitz. Maus II is about Vladek recounting his own history to his son Art
…show more content…
Spiegelman uses mice, cats, pigs and other animals to portray the victims and events in the Holocaust. He uses real features of human beings such as hands, feet and emotions to give the animals the full potential to relate to. Maus reveals that the characters portrayed as mice are being seen in sharper relief as human concerns in the world of mice. Spiegelman decided on interesting but possibly offensive use of different animals to use. The first type of animal which appears in this comic is the mouse (MausI:5). The form of mice is used to represent the Jewish people during the Holocaust and as of now too. The Polish police were involved in the arrest of innocent Jewish mice (27). The Polish people were pigs and Germans were represented as cats. The Germans’ appearance as cats began to make sense in the way how cats chase, hunt and kill mice (33). This comic book was translated into an easily readable format to educate the history of the Holocaust to the younger generations.
Second, the choice of a comic format serves as a vital aspect in the reader’s understanding of the visual society and making awareness through generations as more attuned to the image than to the word. In Vladek's world, being and living as a human meant living in fear. Vladek escapes the fear of death for a time through the intercession of an S.S. officer who wanted to learn English from him and in return provided him with some protection (78). This
Open Document