Maus is a biographical story that revolves around Vladek Spiegelman’s involvements in the Holocaust, but masks and manipulation is one of the few themes of the book that has a greater picture of what the book entails. Vladek’s experiences during World War II are brutal vivid detail of the persecution of Jews by German soldiers as well as by Polish citizens. Author Art Spiegelman leads the reader through the usage of varying points of view as Spiegelman structures several pieces of stories into a large story. Spiegelman does this in order to portray Vladek’s history as well as his experiences with his father while writing the book. Nonetheless, Maus deals with this issue in a more delicate way through the use of different animal faces to portray different races.
The initial page of the book is graphic memoir, Spigelman’s cover page presents a comic. Maus’s prolog establishes the tension between Vladek and himself. Art was a little boy on his roller skates when one of his skate wheels broke and all of his friends skated, off abandoning him. As he slowly walks to approach where his father, Vladek, was working in the front of his garage seeking fatherly love. When Art tells his father about his friends skating off without him, his father replies, “Friends? Your friends? ... If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week… Then you could see what it is, friends!” Compared to the immense adversities faced Vladek, faces, Art’s problem is minor. The reaction Art received isn’t what a child would like to hear when in need of help from a father. The reader gets a feel of how the author is going to portray the characters throughout the whole book. In the first initial part of the book Spigelman opens up with a quote f...
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... his story. The most evident use of masks in Maus was when Vladek, Anja, and other Jewish individuals used the masks to disguise themselves as Polish. This scene was the most literal and physical representation of masks in the book. Vladek and Anja must hide the fact they are Jewish, in order to be hidden and intact throughout Poland (pgs. 136-139). The masks and illustrations Spigelman put on the characters made an interaction between elements while reading the book. This creates Spigelman to be ingenious in the story to combine all of the above action into life in order to construct effects. For instance, when reading in the present time of things as Art would talk to Vladek, Art is illustrated himself as human but with a mouse head. Why? I feel as if Art, still Jewish, is a mouse to represent a demeaning of things, but this has a huge reason for his choice.
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- Maus is a biographical story that revolves around Vladek Spiegelman’s involvements in the Holocaust, but masks and manipulation is one of the few themes of the book that has a greater picture of what the book entails. Vladek’s experiences during World War II are brutal vivid detail of the persecution of Jews by German soldiers as well as by Polish citizens. Author Art Spiegelman leads the reader through the usage of varying points of view as Spiegelman structures several pieces of stories into a large story.... [tags: Maus, Art Spiegelman, World War II]
1175 words (3.4 pages)
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