Animal Allegory In Art Spiegelman's Maus

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Art Spiegelman’s Maus tells a compelling story about his father, family and other people’s experiences during the Holocaust. Spiegelman didn’t only use comic as his way of portraying the Holocaust but uses animal metaphor to depict behaviors of disparate nationality and the identity of the characters. The portraying of animals as humans makes the reader accentuate more strongly on the horrific nature of the Holocaust; as these mistreated animals are indeed human beings. The use of animal allegory analyzes the relationships, similarities, and the differences of animals and humans. Also, In the comic novel, the Germans treated the Jews as vermin instead of humans; affirmed by the metaphor of German cats chasing Jewish mice. Certainly, …show more content…
The Poles who are pigs in Spiegelman’s Maus are seen by the Jewish people as dirty and greedy animals; this exemplifies how they acted dirty, they chose to help either the Germans or Jews if only they will benefit from it. Spiegelman calling the Poles “pig” is in accordance with the metaphor due to the fact that the Germans called them "Schwien," and since the Jews, who are mice were called "vermin." Even though the Polish pigs were not gassed like the Jewish mice, they were still utilized and assisted in arresting the Jews. As contrary to the German cats with hard jaw line and squinty, accusing eyes, the polish pigs are given impartial facial expressions. Furthermore, the Poles only offer assistance to the Jews if only they can pay with money or jewelries. For instance, when Art asks his father “you had to pay Mrs. Monotowa to keep you, Right?, Vladek replies, “of course, I paid…and well I paid..what do you think? Someone will risk their life for nothing?” (I,142). Conversely, when Vladek couldn’t pay Mrs. Monotowa the full price for bread, she lied by saying: “sorry I couldn’t find any bread today” (I,142). Though some of the Poles were helping the Jews by hiding them, none of them defended the Jews from the Germans. To be precise, Spiegelman masked the Poles as pigs so not for the reader to view them only as accommodating but selfish as …show more content…
Spiegelman decided to depict the American as dogs in Maus since they are the liberators of the Jews, and as known, the dog chases cat. Immediately the Americans arrived, the Jewish people knew the war was over. “The prisoners also reacted in many different ways to their liberation. In some camps they ran out to joyously meet their emancipators and to see if their release was true. Others stayed within their living quarters, afraid to come out, like timid animals insecure with their new freedom. Many prisoners took revenge on the captured SS soldiers and still others retreated to their religion. Above all, the inmates had been stripped of their humanity as well as their personal identities, and what remained was merely a shell of a human being These Jewish people and these Polish people were like animals. They were so degraded, there was no goodness, no kindness, nothing of that nature, there was no sharing. If they got a piece of something to eat, they grabbed it and ran away in a corner and fought off anyone who came near them” (Holocaust-trc,

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