Spiegelman's Use Of Deontology In Maus: A Survivors Tale

1109 Words 4 Pages
Comic have been one of the newest forms of literature, with the first comic strips being introduced nearly 120 years ago. One cartoonist who has been instrumental to comics gaining notoriety in recent years is Art Spiegelman, who drew and wrote Maus: A Survivors Tale. This series of comics gives a detailed account of Art’s Father, Vladek Spiegelman and his survival of the Holocaust. While the world is no stranger to Holocaust literature, Maus brought the genre to comics in a manner which takes advantage of the format of comics. While comics have been criticized as a medium for immature stories, many specific aspects of the comic help make this story a more serious story than it would have been, were it made into a regular book. From the use …show more content…
It forces readers into questioning the morality of an action, ignoring the results; a concept quite familiar with Holocaust literature. One of the most jarring difference Maus has from other stories about the Holocaust is Spiegelman’s use of anthropomorphic animals, animals which act and behave like humans. When Spiegelman was writing Maus in the late 1970s, there was a growing number of comics being written and published in underground newspapers. These comics would often use the iconography of traditional comics, such as anthropomorphic animals. While many of these underground comics used this for shock value, Spiegelman uses to help better convey the message of the story. In Maus, all of the Jews are portrayed as mice, while the Germans are cats, the Polish as pigs, and so on. What this does is presents a story where characters are set into certain archetypes based on their respective animal. This gives readers a certain expectation regarding where they stand morally, Spiegelman uses this as an opportunity to subvert these expectations, as he depicts each group doing something immoral or moral. Though because certain characters fit into a specific archetype, we expect them to behave a certain way in the story, which results in readers having to contemplate the morality of these …show more content…
The traditional use of anthropomorphic animals is used in order to give readers a set expectation of the characters based on the archetypes they fill. This is something that comes into question once readers witness a character do something outside of their moral archetype, leading them to question all of the actions of the characters. Comics also allow Spiegelman to incorporate very small details of the story into the narrative in order to point out some of the complexities that go into telling a story like this. What comes as a result is a story that would not have been as effective or thought provoking had it not been written as a

Related Documents