Theme Of Racism In Speigelmans And Maus

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Racism in Speigelmans, Maus, is quite often found to be the major underlying theme to many other problems encountered in the novel. Speigelman’s novel not only shows what racism the Jews experienced during the Holocaust but also provides his own critique on what transpired during that time. Vladek, who had gone through the Holocaust, has seen and dealt with this discrimination first hand, but yet after the war he himself is quite racist towards those who are not deemed equal in his eyes. This brings Spiegleman to look more and more into the racism during and also after the Holocaust. He critiques it within his story to show how dehumanization is not only unjust but on the other hand shows the structural chaste system in society. Before the …show more content…
Also, after the Holocaust, Vladek unjustly discriminates against a black man solely for the color of skin. This is seen as bizarre as Vladek was the one who complained about being dehumanized by the Germans, but yet he continues to act the same way. By portraying both Vladek’s experience with racism and his own racist attitude towards others, Spiegelman reveals the dehumaninzg affect of racism and critiques it by showing its structural function in society.
Throughout the novel, Spiegelman completely exposes each character with their little differences, showing that they are judged for their physical appearance and not their character, and showing the social structure within the novel. Spiegelman continually emphasizes the fact that Vladek and Anja are Jews. He first draws Vladek in a panel shaped as the Star of David, this is during a time where the Germans are attacking Jews.
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During the war, the Jews were the ones that were dehumanized because the Germans thought that they were superior. After the war the Germans went from their fortress in Europe to cities of “stones and nothing”, though the Jews seemingly have nothing to lose (Maus II, 130). As Vladek walks through the city of Nuremburg, he states that he was once “scrubbed the streets [there] as a P.O.W” (Maus II, 130). This shows Vladek’s past, when he was discriminated against because he was Jewish, and the physical labor he did evidently placed him in the lower part of society. As they walk around the city where “not one building was still standing”, he comes across a family of Jews depicted sitting in the rubble of a past building (Maus II, 130). They have a quick exchanging of words about how there is no water in the city, and how they are in desperate need of them, most likely for their new born. Vladek does not help them but yet he leaves and states, “let the Germans have a little of what they did to the Jews.” (Maus II, 130). Spiegelman ends the scene in Nuremberg by portraying a train leaving the city, but simultaneously he still includes all of the rubbles that lay within the city and a caption where Vladek states “we came away happy” (Maus II, 130). Though Valdek is portrayed as

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