Symbolism In Art Spielgman's Maus

Decent Essays
When deciding whether form ‘enables authors to communicate meaning more effectively’ it is important to first discover what the author is trying to express through their literature. Whilst motifs and themes may be apparent to an audience, upon reading a novel or watching a play. However, is not necessarily truthful to the authors intended meaning if the meaning itself is within within symbolism or dialogue.

For Art Spielgman’s postmodern graphic novel Maus, the form is arguably more important due to the delicate subject matter. The graphic novel explores the struggles of the authors father, a holocaust surviver Vladek Spielgman, whereas the perspective is also told through Art Spielgman himself. Both characters, are depicted as mice within the novel, this includes all jewish characters within the novel. Nazi’s are conveyed as cats, whilst polish people are depicted as pigs. The binary opposition which is depicted largely in the artwork facilitates an audiences preconcieved notions of cat and mice in order to garner sympathy. Cats are often notorious for hunting mice and are predatory animals. In contrast, mice are seen as vermin. In an interview Spielgman stated that his reasoning for illustrating jews as mice was due to the context of the holocaust and nazi germany “The final solution was built on exterminating jews, not murdering jews. That notion of extermination, that is what one does to vermin”. Furthermore, Spielgman is saying that there is a symbolic connection between the treatment of
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The form is effective in communicating meaning as the novel has injecting scenes which recount events which are traumatising to Art, yet a fact of life for Vladek. The graphic novel uses visual aids in order for the reader to be able to distinguish between present and past, an element which would be lost or far less significant within a novel or play. The font is regular when there are
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