Analysis Of Maus By Art Spiegelman

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Writers often tell two stories when writing one. It’s natural habit. Often there is an ulterior motive when writers use such a technique but, sometimes, there is not. This “two-story telling,” without any ulterior motive takes place in “Maus” by Art Spiegelman where Vladek, Art’s father, recounts the story of the ghastly holocaust and how this relationship effects both of them. Even though Spiegelman doesn’t outright say that the story is also about his relationship with his father, it is clearly presented in the graphic novel. By using both the stories in his novel, Spiegelman provides an insight about his father and how the holocaust shaped him.

Both stories are intertwined, that is, neither could have been told without the other. Jumping right into the book, we see Art, the protagonist, returning home after having his skate broken. His father, rather than consoling him, compares his friends to the holocaust as he says, “then you could see what it is,
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Art on the other hand “survives” the holocaust, but feels guilty about not being there with his father and using his stories as a means to make himself popular. Even though both characters survive in the sense of living (Art’s father lives after the holocaust as seen), neither is a true “survivor.” Both feel abhorrent towards each other, but, neither says it. Vladek only cares about “surviving” from the holocaust and Art only about his stories. However, Spiegelman’s “Maus” is both Vladek and Art’s story. Vladek’s relationship with his son plays a precise role in the story. Without it, it would have been similar to other accounts of the holocaust. By providing an insight to the present and the past through his father’s eyes, Spiegelman’s is neither his own nor his father’s. Rather, it’s the combination of

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