When most people refer to literature that concentrates specifically on the Holocaust as the subjects, the first thought usually isn’t in the form of a graphic novel. Most people would believe a graphic novel is something only a child would read or someone to the same educational equivalent. Due to their engaging stories and appealing visuals though, graphic novels are idea for visual learners, inexperienced or unenthused readers, and just about anyone else who may not find traditional print books enticing. Graphic novels tend to show a relationship between the images and the text that makes for an experience in itself (1.). Sometimes even taking on a difficult subject, an example being the Holocaust can make for a different kind of experience. In Maus I & II, the author chose graphic novels as his medium. For that, “Maus shines due to its impressive ability to ‘speak the unspeakable’ by using the popular maxim, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ to perfection” (3).
As mentioned before, graphic novels can be great tools for some, if not all, readers. As well the holocausts can be a difficult subject, not always easy to read about. Using graphic novels, which often is associated with children, to represent a traumatic event can be problematic: “The enormity of atrocity is such that the very act of representing it risked trivializing or over-dramatizing it,”(2). In other words, the author has to be very cautions when writing serious graphic novels not to get too creative and dramatize the situation even more than what already was. Spiegelman presents his vision of the legacy of the Holocaust in a new and innovative way—through images and words simultaneously.
Spiegelman uses many different strategies to keep his graphic no...
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...us subject such as the Holocaust can entice all types of people, so the readers should be just as broad in a sense. By using many different strategies, Spiegelman creates a bonding relationship between the image and the text unlike any other graphic novel of his time.
1. In Schools and Libraries, Graphic Novels. 18 Apr. 2011 http://www.ipl.org/div/graphicnovels/gnsSchoolsNLibs.html
2. “Visualizing Memory in the Graphic Novel.” Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History 18 Apr. 2011 http://cujah.com/publications/volume-vi/visualizing-memory-graphic-novel/
3. “The Unusual Structure of MAUS.” American Literacy Traditions 18 Apr. 2011
4. “The Comic Book Style.” American Literacy Traditions 18 Apr. 2011 < http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/introser/maus.htm >