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Spiegelman's Maus: The Intentional ..

As a story about the Holocaust in comic form, ’s Maus accomplishes the seemingly impossible. Maus tells the story of Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, and his experience as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. Running parallel to the story is the story of Spiegelman’s interactions with his father as he visits his father on numerous occasions to record his memories. All of the characters are represented as animals: the Jews are mice, the Germans are cats, the Americans are dogs, and so on. Within this seemingly simplistic framework, Maus confronts the terrifying reality of the Holocaust, the systematic genocide of millions and millions of Jews carried out by the Nazi regime during World War II.

Is it possible to read Maus in light of other experiences of genocide or “ethnic cleansing”?

The very title of the books is a powerful reworking of the convention: Maus rewrites the cultural norm and invents a new discursive space to address the questions of Jewish trauma, guilt, shame and, perhaps most importantly, the transmission of these conflicts from one generation to the next, especially in the case that they are not sufficently worked-through. encompasses many small narratives: not merely the story of Vladek (Artie's Father) and Anje (Artie's Mother, who committed suicide after surviving Auschwitz and coming to America), but of Artie himself in his struggle to understand his family origins and himself.

Essay about Maus and the Holocaust -- Maus

Vladek in Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel, Maus, is one of the few Jewish people to survive the Holocaust.

Maus is considered a representative work in second-generation Holocaust literature, literature about the Holocaust written from the perspective of the survivors’ children. As the critic Arlene Fish Wilner explains, “In the Jewish tradition, the transmission of familial and communal history from parent to child is a sacred obligation” (). Inheriting and preserving their parents’ stories is a way for children to connect with their families’ pasts. This becomes especially important when you think about the fact that whole families were wiped out during the Holocaust.

Yet Maus also inherits the special problem that all Holocaust literature has to deal with when it tries to confront this historical catastrophe: How can any form of representation – literary, cinematic, visual – do justice to what happened in the Holocaust? Isn’t any representation going to fall short in the face of such horror?

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Spiegelman exploits the comic form in Maus to unsettle the reader, playing with panel frames and arrangements and with his own animal motif to unsettle the reader’s expectations. Within the comic, Spiegelman reflects a lot on the making of Maus, inviting the reader to inhabit his creative process. In using a form of popular culture to talk about serious historical issues, and by reflecting on the form within the text itself, Maus is also considered a postmodern text.

Maus tackles this problem by using an unconventional medium: the comic. Spiegelman was a key figure in the underground comic scene, which emerged in the 1960s. Unlike mainstream comics with their superheroes, underground comics challenged all forms of authority and took a darkly ironic view of society.

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FREE Maus Essay - Example Essays

The things he learnt in the concentration camps will always affect his life and after reading Maus the reader can see many different ways that the holocaust effected Valdek’s personality....

The Maus books are award-winning comics written by Art Spiegelman

Comic writers would often use different types of animals that are naturally seen in the real world and they would determine what type of role they would have in the comic book....

Maus Essay - 867 Words | Majortests

Spiegelman once remarked, “In making Maus, I found myself drawing every panel, every figure, over and over – obsessively – so as to pare it down to an essence, as if each panel was an attempt to invent a new word, rough-hewn but stream-lined” (). Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Maus is its excruciating honesty about the difficulties of capturing his father’s story, of capturing the Holocaust.

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Widely acclaimed, Maus received a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and was the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Part I, “My Father Bleeds History,” appeared in 1986, followed by Part II, “And Here My Troubles Began,” in 1991; both parts are now available in a single volume, The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.

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Artie makes an attempt to overcome the wall between him and his father by writing the comic Maus about his father’s life in hopes to grow closer to him and understand him better, yet he struggles in looking past his father’s picky habits and hypoc...

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Spiegelman’s Maus Volumes I and II delves into the emotional struggle he faced as a result of his father’s failure to recover from the trauma he suffered during the Holocaust.

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