Son Of Saul And Maus Analysis

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The absolute horror of the Holocaust has made it difficult and sometimes controversial to depict it in various forms of media. Two such works of art, Son of Saul and Maus, take very unique approaches to trying to capture the experiences of the Holocaust. Both works share key themes such as the importance of family in maintaining hope and the perpetrator conflict with Jews and Poles. Of course, the two works aren’t exactly the same and there are some major thematic differences. Perhaps the most striking difference is the difference in the identity politics narrative that can be seen in both works. To begin with the major comparisons between both works, one should probably start at the key plot elements that drives Son of Saul and Maus: the …show more content…
Through all the trials and tribulations that Vladek faced over the years, one thing that kept him going was his hope to see Anja again. After being separated from her when he is taken to Auschwitz and she is taken to Birkenau, both he and Anja wrote letters to each other explaining their hope. Anja states that “each day I think about running into the electric fence but to know you are alive it give me still to hope” (Spiegelman 53). No matter how depressing the camps became, no matter how hungry Anja and Vladek became, and no matter how much pain Anja and Vladek endured, they stayed alive on nearly the sole love of each other and the hope that they would one day see each other again. While not exactly parallel to Son of Saul, both Maus and Son of Saul highlight the role that families played in making it through the camps in one …show more content…
One striking difference is the obvious identity politics that pervades Maus. In Maus, everyone is divided into their identity. Jews are mice, Nazis are cats, Poles are pigs, French are frogs, and Americans are dogs. It doesn’t matter who you actually are. You are labeled by your identity. The Polish priest that Vladek meets is portrayed the same as the Pole that wanted to learn English. It is a highly cartoonish way of depicting the actual horrors of identity politics that led up to the Holocaust and that actually happened in the camps such as the star of David branding. It was also a highly visualistic way of depicting what Peter Novick describes in The Holocaust in American Life as the “victimization olympics”. In Maus, Jews are more victimized than Poles who are more victimized than the other groups. While the narrative doesn’t delve too far deep into this theme, the symbolism is there on face

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