Analysis Of Maus By Art Spiegelman

Think about the last time you told somebody a story. Did you add details to emphasize your point, make a better understanding, or even to evoke feelings, or did u leave out some details by accident? Even as we tell of little, irrelevant events in our lives, we as people can't relate to someone else precisely what they have encountered or experienced. In Maus, Art Spiegelman uses mice, pigs, cats and different animals to represent the victims and events that happened during the Holocaust. He uses physical qualities of human beings, for example, hands and feet to give the reader a better understanding of the novel and make it more relatable. The mice in Maus represents the Jewish people because mice are seen as little, weak and helpless while the Polish people were pigs, and the Germans were represented as cats since they are powerful and would prey on mice like any real cat would.

Maus is an interesting novel that follows the story of Vladek Spiegelman in Poland and describes his experiences as the Nazis captured and tortured the Jewish people. Most of Vladek's relationship issues have an immediate connection to his past. Vladek’s use of frames, shadings, facial expression, and color helps the reader better understand the significant of past and present in Artie’s relationship with his dad. His experiences during the Holocaust affect his present relationship with not just his wife, marla, but also with his son. Vladek loss of his only child during the war, had a profound effect on his relationship with Artie while he was growing up. As Artie stated in the novel, he feels like he was always in a competition with his dead brother, Richie. He portrayed his brother as this perfect, ideal child because he never had the opportunity to grow up or survive the Holocaust. This however, was a problem for Artie because he felt like he has to live up to his brother's standards. All throughout Maus, Vladek is known for criticizing Artie for various unimportant offenses such as making a mess with his cigarette powder while Vladek reluctantly describes an experience he had where he was belittled for not cleaning up a mess that was made in the camp. The connection between past and present events results in Artie feeling responsible and guilty for the way has constantly treated his dad. Spiegelman changing from past to present day can be seen in his drawing styled during Maus.

The use of frames where some of the drawings break out their borders and the frame help keep the Holocaust separate from the present is illustrated in the panel where Vladek yells at Artie saying “BUT LOOK WHAT YOU DO, ARTIE! You’re dropping on the carpet cigarette ashes.” Spiegelman's style from this quote can be seen in few details, such as his use of facial expression. On this panel, the reader can see how strong Vladek facial expression is towards his son and he uses this feature to convey emotions. Throughout the book, the author uses black and white color to better enhance the dark tone of the theme and to give the novel a high level of drama and technique. Shading is used to differentiate between the past and the present. For example, the present time is represented by using a less amount of shading while the past is coated with dark amount of shadings.

Maus portray comics through memory from the past to the present. Spiegelman uses a graphic novel to focus on the relationship between him and his father even though their relationship is separated through Vladek's past. The interchange of the past and present is seen through Spiegelman family's relationship gap and emotional pain. The brutal experience of the past in WWII have a massive influence in the setting of the present, as they have negatively influenced Vladek's character, Anja's feelings setting off her suicide, and particularly through his relationship with his son.

11 February 2020
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