Recurrent Themes in Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

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Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman could be considered a graphic novel on the verge of falling into the realm of the novel. The one thing that keeps it from falling is that “hands” narrate the story, as noted by Spiegelman when describes comics as “a vital and expressive language that talks with its hands”. In fact, handwriting is an incredibly recurrent theme in the book, and to be specific, page 51 is representative of this. There is the obvious idea that handwriting represents the tone and mood and expresses the characters’ feelings. For example, “hang” is bolded in the frame in the top right corner of page 51, signifying the contempt and villainous tone in the Nazi’s voice towards the Jews. Moving on, there is another component of this theme of handwriting that make this theme a very complex one.
To clarify, page 51 brings up the most important facet of this theme—self-awareness. The frame in the bottom left corner of the page depicts a Nazi’s hand clutching Vladek’s (the upper one is of the former and the lower one is of the latter). There are several differences between the two hands that allow one to identify them. These contrasts represent the self-awareness of Vladek, who blatantly shows that he knows that he was helpless in the Holocaust and that it completely changed his life almost as if it was thrust upon him. One such difference is that the one on the bottom does not have a scratch on it and is very delicate while the other

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