Maus : A Survivor 's Tale Essay

1205 Words Feb 24th, 2016 5 Pages
Written over a thirteen-year period, Maus: A Survivor 's Tale by Art Spiegelman, tells the story of the authors attempts to learn about and document his father, Vladek, and his mother, Anja’s experiences as Jews during the Holocaust and later as survivors in the United States. Spiegelman uses this opportunity to tell the story of his family 's history and relationships during and after World War II. The way in which Spiegelman documents his fathers’ history is peculiar in that Artie choose to make a comic, depicting the tragedies of World War II which suggests a lighter, cartoonish sense while the reality is quite the opposite. In order to represent individuals in the book more easily, and without having to describe each character, or outline background details, Artie choose to depict the characters by drawing them as animals, categorizing them by race or religion. All people in the book are depicted as anthropomorphic animals (i.e., all Jews are portrayed as mice, thus the name Maus which is German for "mouse"). The Jews, as mice, can be seen as frail and powerless victims, as well as mocking the Nazi portrayal of Jews as vermin. Also, this may represent the ingenuity many Jews demonstrated during the Holocaust and the failure of the Nazis to entirely wipe out such a species. Throughout the graphic novel, Artie struggles with his theme and use of animals to represent the people featured in his book, he begins to realize that humans are far more complex than to be…

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