Nobody Can Understand: A Short Essay on Art Spiegelman’s Maus

Nobody Can Understand: A Short Essay on Art Spiegelman’s Maus

Length: 723 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In a world where obsessive power, manipulation, hatred, and the desire to obliterate a single population reign, no one survives untarnished. The Holocaust was a horrific event led by Adolf Hitler that resulted in the persecution, torment, and suffering of millions of Jewish people all over Europe. Vladek Spiegelman survived the ruthless torture from the largest concentration camp during World War II in Auschwitz. His son, Art Spiegelman, tells two stories at once in his book Maus: one of his father’s experiences during the Holocaust and another of his present adversities with his father. Spiegelman’s book is unlike many of this genre. Written as a graphic novel, Maus allows readers to visualize Spiegelman’s feelings giving a new meaning to the famed maxim, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Spiegelman doesn’t simply write another historical account of the Holocaust. Instead, he writes of his father’s experience during the Holocaust as an attempt to not only portray the life of a Jew during that time, but to better understand the relationship he has with his father.
By writing two separate stories within one, Spiegelman is able to represent the life of his father and other Jewish people during the Holocaust. Spiegelman struggles to depict an accurate representation of life during the Holocaust because he never personally experienced it. He is able to give a more honest approach to the horrendous story by replacing humans with animals. The facts from the Holocaust can be easier to accept if there isn’t a human face attached to the terror. He portrays Jews as mice, and Nazis as cats. The relationship of cats and mice is known as constant pursuing and hunting which is symbolic of the relationship between the Jews and...


... middle of paper ...


... survivors often felt indebted to their parents and searched for ways to honor those who survived and remember those who died. The children of survivors will forever be unable to understand the full extent of what their parents went through. While talking to his father about a stolen box, Spiegelman has a revelation. ‘“You left the box in the barrack? How could it not be taken?” “I didn’t think on it…” “But everyone was starving to death! Sigh- I guess I just don’t understand” “Yes… About Auschwitz, nobody can understand.”’ (Spiegelman, 224). It is difficult, maybe even impossible to fully understand the magnitude of the Holocaust and its impact on not just one generations, but multiple generations after. Questions still remain. Questions will always remain. “Nobody can understand.”



Works Cited

Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus. New York: Pantheon, 1997. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Spiegelman 's ' Maus ' Essay

- In Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the audience is led through a very emotional story of a Holocaust survivor’s life and the present day consequences that the event has placed on his relationship with the author, who is his son, and his wife. Throughout this novel, the audience constantly is reminded of how horrific the Holocaust was to the Jewish people. Nevertheless, the novel finds very effective ways to insert forms of humor in the inner story and outer story of Maus. Although the Holocaust has a heart wrenching effect on the novel as a whole, the effective use of humor allows for the story to become slightly less severe and a more tolerable read....   [tags: Humour, Comedy, Maus, Art Spiegelman]

Better Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Writing Techniques in Art Spiegelman's Maus and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five

- Writing Techniques in Art Spiegelman's Maus and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five BAM. ZONK. POW. ZAP. What images do these words bring to mind. For many people, they illicit scenes of Batman and his sidekick Robin, fighting their way through a legion of bad guys while arriving only seconds after their arch-villain has escaped. From these short, succinct, nonsense words, images of battles are painted over a much larger canvas; the delicate balance and constant struggle between good and evil is illustrated in black and white terms....   [tags: Spiegelman maus Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Essays]

Better Essays
1986 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Use of Animals in Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale

- The Use of Animals in Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor’s Tale The Maus series of books tell a very powerful story about one man’s experience in the Holocaust. They do not tell the story in the conventional novel fashion. Instead, the books take on an approach that uses comic windows as a method of conveying the story. One of the most controversial aspects of this method was the use of animals to portray different races of people. The use of animals as human races shows the reader the ideas of the Holocaust a lot more forcefully than simply using humans as the characters....   [tags: Art Spiegelman Maus A Survivor?s Tale]

Free Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Maus I And Maus ' Essay

- Stereotypes have a way of arranging items or things in an arrangement to comprehend them in a perfectly systematic way. A frightening notion would be, saying that something will not fit and that it would be an entrance that is unsure of the world that we are occupying. Using art we can recognize different stereotypes without thinking and as a reader, we can react identically. Theater philosopher and play biographer Bertolt Brecht states, “It is well known that contact between audience and stage is normally made on the basis of empathy” (136)....   [tags: Maus, Art Spiegelman, The Reader, Stereotypes]

Better Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Maus II ' By Art Spiegelman Essay

- Historical Uses of Graphic Novel, Comic Books, and Comic Strips, Picture books. Everyone has read one as a child, and that is exactly what they are: books for children. Or are they. Picture books, comic book, and graphic novel tend to be grouped together and all tend to be stereotyped as books for children, but recently the idea of using graphic novels as a source of education for teens in high school and even for adults in college has popped up. The book Maus II by Art Spiegelman is a graphic novel in which the reader follows Art’s father Vladek through Nazi Camps....   [tags: Graphic novel, Comics, Maus, Comic strip]

Better Essays
1754 words (5 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Maus ' Essay example

- 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]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Book Night By Elie Wiesel, And Maus By Art Spiegelman

- Jane Yolen once said: “Fiction cannot recite the numbing numbers, but it can be that witness, that memory.” Preserving the memories of the horrifying incidents of the Holocaust is the best way to ensure nothing like it ever occurs again. Authors use their novels to try and pass these memories down through generations. Examples of this are the novels Night by Elie Wiesel, and MAUS by Art Spiegelman. The main discussion in these novels revolves around the Holocaust and the violence against Jews....   [tags: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz concentration camp, Maus]

Better Essays
991 words (2.8 pages)

Art Spiegelman's Maus Essay examples

- “A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution… at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant.” -Jules Feiffer (1) This is a commentary by Jules Feiffer about “Maus”, which is a survivor’s tale created by Art Spiegelman. As you can see from the commentary, this is a wonderful story, not only its the writing but also the art. The author made the story interesting that attracts many readers by changing many things from the first 3 –page version of Maus....   [tags: book and literary analysis]

Better Essays
989 words (2.8 pages)

Analysis of The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman Essay examples

- When reading a traditional book, it is up to the reader to imagine the faces and landscapes that are described within. A well written story will describe the images clearly so that you can easily picture the details. In Art Spiegelman’s The Complete Maus, the use of the animals in place of the humans offers a rather comical view in its simplistic relation to the subject and at the same time develops a cryptic mood within the story. His drawings of living conditions in Auschwitz; expressions on the faces of people enduring torture, starvation, and despair; his experience with the mental institution and his mother’s suicide; and occasional snapshots of certain individuals, create a new dynamic...   [tags: Graphic Novel, Holocaust, Auschwitz]

Better Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Analysis of Art Spiegelman´s Novel: Maus

- “The world. The world is not interested in us. Today everything is possible, even the crematoria…” - Elie Wiesel The graphic novel “Maus” is one Holocaust survivor’s tale, Vladek Spiegelman. Vladek lived through the Holocaust and along the way lost most if not all of his family. Art arrived at his fathers’ home to capture the story. Within the novel you bare witness to this very awkward father son relationship, you see how one managed to escape death when it is the only option, and the lasting impact a traumatic experience such as the Holocaust can have on future relationships....   [tags: Holocaust, Son, Relationships]

Better Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)