Symbolism In Maus: A Survivor's Tale

894 Words 4 Pages
The Holocaust is one of the most tragic events to have happened and forever changing the lives of millions. Literature involving the event is one of the only ways one can imagine or begin to understand the horrors of the Holocaust and its impact on future generations. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, written by Art Spiegelman, is one of the greatest graphic comics that is also able to depict the horrors and after-struggles of the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman was born on February 15, 1948; A big part of his life and experience was being born in the generation after the Holocaust and he often compares his life to his father and thus leading to the creation of Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. It depicts the story of Artie interviewing his father’s memories of the …show more content…
However, not as complex as the Holocaust itself. It reminds readers how one born after the Holocaust will never begin to connect with its victims, considering how intricate just one story of the Holocaust is. The common aspects of comics that Spiegelman gives meaning to include the panel sizes and overall format within the graphic comic. Looking at the actual art, Spiegelman creates shading in the comic to showcase the mood and ability to connect scenes together with the common shading in mind. Symbolism is in his artwork as well, which is a distinctive ability that is unable to be seen if Maus was written textually. Spiegelman uses his knowledge of graphics to add specifics and elaborate what the Holocaust represents, which Spiegelman understands and argues, that no one will be able to understand because those who do have died. Spiegelman’s incorporation of graphics in Maus: A Survivor’s Tale tells a story with deeper meaning with artistic value, sizing, and placement that would be lost if the comic had been written as a textual …show more content…
As Spiegelman writes his nonfiction graphic comic, Chute notices how he takes the advice of his father to heart: “use every available centimeter to get as much stuff packed into a small space as possible" (202). This is evident throughout the entire comic. There is nothing needless or unnecessary in the artwork. Majority of the panels are roughly the same size unless a panel differs in size for importance. In the book one, chapter four, The Noose Tightens, any appearances of a Jewish person being hung, seemingly all have larger panels than the others. The art continues and grows out into other panels, such as in figure 1 (see appendix). In this picture, one can see the feet of the hung Jew continuing into the panels below, showing how the death of these people will only continue and grow (Doherty 78). The formation and order of the panels also have significant importances due to the changing narrative. Panels are able to convey information both vertically and horizontally. How one reads Maus will change the narrative of the story. For example, the question arises if Vladek is bending the truth since one does not know any other side to his story (Young 673). Mandaville explains, “In Maus, the explicit use of framing; of competing narratives layering past and present, visual and verbal; and of cartoon stereotype: these all come together not only to produce a more open, ethical, history

Related Documents