The Challenges of the “Real” and Depth in Maus Essay

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The Postmodernist movement begun after World War II in which, high and low culture are questionable in the view of society and Art. The postmodernist movement in literature creates a new set of ideals for fiction, such as the metafiction, the fable like representation in novels, the pastiche, irony, and satire. Fredric Jameson speaks about the movement and its theory in his essay “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”. He questions postmodernism in society as it creates the new societal norm of popular culture. On the other hand, Jean Baudrillard analyzes the simulacra of postmodernism in “The Precession of Simulacra”. Baudrillard speaks of the “truth” and “reality” also as a questionable representation for the reader. Yet, both critics …show more content…
The authoritative viewpoint symbolizes the reliable and the unreliable narrator, which shows the difference between the “truth” and the “false” (1558) in a postmodernist fiction. With this said, the true/reliable point of view in a postmodernist text is an “immense fragmentation and privatization of modern literature-its explosion into a host of a distinct private styles and mannerism-foreshadows deeper and more general tendencies in social life as a whole” (Jameson 1849). It is normal for a postmodern text to have a hidden viewpoint as it creates the complexity of the narrative, and portrays depth within the fiction. Art Spiegelman’s Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began” presents itself as having an authoritative point of view on page 25, with the split panels depicting the present and past. On the left side panel, we have the present illustrating Vladek and Art’s relationship and the retelling of Vladek’s journey of survival in the Holocaust. However, on the right side we have the depiction of the concentration camp through Vladek’s accounts (Spiegelman 25). The break of the panels shows the present relationship of father and son contrast to the loneliness of Vladek in the past during hard times. Erin McGlothlin expresses the importance of the break of panel through the aspect of authoritative viewpoint as a “…visual…to signify the abrupt chasm between the past and present (a young, emaciated

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