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Night and Maus

Satisfactory Essays
Both the book, Night, by Elie Wiesel and the graphic novels, Maus I, II, by Art Spiegelman depict the Holocaust. In Night, the scenes of the Holocaust are depicted through words and in Maus I, II they are depicted through illustration. They both display the powerful message of the Holocaust, but in two different forms. In each book, the media that is used helps define the story that is being told. Both medias are strong because they are able to tell the story of the Holocaust, but sometimes the message is more noticeable or powerful when used in a different form. Each story is able to emphasize different points through the use of different types of imagery.

With his use of images, Spiegelman is able to portray the relationship between the Germans and the Jews. It is very clear to see the predator-prey dynamic through the depiction of the cat and mouse. An example where the predator-prey depiction is very strong is on page 33 of Maus I. Here the cats start to attack the mouse that is in the picture. Throughout the frames the cats begin to look meaner and then finally they attack. Here, it is very easy to see the nature of the relationship between the Germans and the Jews. We see the predator and prey theme again on page 57 of Maus II. In this scene, the German officer, who is depicted as a cat, starts to beat Vladek, a mouse, just because he can. It is clear that the Germans were after the Jews, just like cats are after mice. On the other hand, it is sometimes harder to see this relationship in Night because Wiesel portrays all the characters as individuals, allowing them to maintain their common human qualities.

Wiesel’s use of language in Night allows the reader to identify with the narrator by experiencing the events ...

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...us to make a different face to fit each character. The author gives each character a sense of individuality. But in Maus I, II, the mice all look the same. They all have the same general face throughout the entire book. This is important because it allows us to connect and have more of an attachment to the character in Night then in Maus I, II. In both books the Jews lose a sense of their identity, but in Night each person still has their defining features. In Maus I, II, their identities are completely wiped away. Each individual is reduced to what defines them as a group.

Both Night, and Maus I, II are powerful stories about the Holocaust. Each story is portrayed in a different way because of the media that is used. Each author is able to explain things and emphasize things in their own way, because of this the reader is able to feel different emotions.
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