A history of a father during the holocaust in the novel maus by art spiegelman

We expect flashy graphics and simple dialogue. We expect to escape from reality in a fantasy world chock-full of buff action heroes and busty women or loveable cartoon animals. All of the characters are represented as animals: 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.

A history of a father during the holocaust in the novel maus by art spiegelman

A Step Further Techniques of Remembering the Holocaust by Second Generation Jews As a result of not having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust like their ancestors did, second generation Jews often sense they must demonstrate their respect and appreciation towards their elders.

A history of a father during the holocaust in the novel maus by art spiegelman

Indebted to the previous generation, these Jews search for ways in which to honor those martyrs who lost their lives half a century ago.

The ways in which this generation pays homage are quite diverse. Many sites on the web, like Aragorn 's, are virtual shrines to the memories of their ancestors. Others are fully dedicated to the organization of campaigns in order to procure justice in the name of Jewish families whose possessions were seized by the Nazis during WWII and stored in Swiss banks.

Click here for an example. Yet another way, non-electronic, is writing a narrative like Art Spiegelman does. MAUS is a splendid graphic novel, drawn and written by Spiegelman himself, that narrates his father's life during the Holocaust. His memories come to life in the pages of the book, although they are intertwined with another account.

This second narrative, Art's, complements his father's by presenting a portrayal of the life and struggles of a second generation of Jewish people whose existences are extremely influenced by the Holocaust despite not being born during its occurrence.

This trait separates MAUS from other Holocaust narratives whose limits can only offer one side of the story, one view of the event, one version of the pain.

Art's obsession with saving Vladek's story for posterity is met with some opposition by his father, especially in the opening sequence. Neither Vladek nor Art are able to understand what the other is feeling due to their inability to relate.

Art wonders why his father is so hesitant to allow his life to be the subject of a novel; he is unable to put himself in Vladek's position. He is often frustrated due to this limitation, and often presses his father for answers he is unable to provide.

At times he shares this frustration, which is sometimes met by sympathy from his father.

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This situation is portrayed splendidly by Spiegelman in the panel below: Art is dumbfounded by this particular morsel of his father's narratives. He attempts to use logic to understand it, but finally gives up when he realizes he just does not understand. His father's final commentary on the strip, "nobody can understand" shows how difficult it is not only for the second generation, but also for the survivors themselves, to understand the events that transpired in the Holocaust.

The evil of the Holocaust is unspeakable, unexplainable, but above all, unforgettable. Art realizes that no matter how hard he wishes he had been at Auschwitz to experience the horrors first-hand, he is unable to do so.

Committing his thoughts and emotions to a written narrative, the graphic novel MAUS, is the best course of action for him, especially since it allows him to combine his story with his father's.

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While some critics censure the form citing a lack of printed text and the presence of comic-book style drawings, its positive qualities are impressive, especially when the topic is as difficult as the Holocaust.

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.

The most important distinction between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom is man's ability to understand, reason, and think. Conscience and intelligence are perhaps the human race's greatest gifts.

Since humans possess such qualities, it is often hard to try to understand the Holocaust without having been there. This point as illustrated in the previous section, which you may access by clicking here. Quite possibly as a method to deal with his own inability to comprehend the events of the Holocaust, Spiegelman uses animal characters instead of humans.

The most important two, Germans and Jews, are represented by cats and mice, respectively. Natural sworn enemies, both cat and mice lack reason and conscience.

As a result, the Nazi cats find no fault in the systematic killing of Jewish mice. The image is also based on historical quotes, since Jews were called the "vermin of society" by the Nazis.

Other pre-Holocaust Nazi-propraganda can be found at the Calvin University archive, including a short account of Julius Streitcher's actions. The graphical novel format, in conjunction with the depiction of Nazis as cat and Jews as mice, permits Spiegelman to force the reader to abandon any preconceived notions of human nature.

Such an effect would have been quite hard to create if he had written a standard text, attesting to the incredible value of the novel's format. This century produced perhaps the greatest example of such atrocities, the Second World War.

A history of a father during the holocaust in the novel maus by art spiegelman

It was during this period of unexplainable brutality that both the Jewish Holocaust and the Nagasaki Bombing occurred. These awful events, discussed and regarded in a much different light half a century ago, are analyzed quite divergently now that mankind has had fifty years to ponder on its errors.

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Although enacted on Japan instead of Germany, it symbolized much of the anger and desire to finish a long, bloody war. The initial joy that followed the devastating detonation of the bomb disappeared in time with the public's realization of the grave mistake that had been committed.

Not only did millions of people perish during the Holocaust and immediately after the Nagasaki episode, but many more lost their lives some time afterwards, victims of physical deterioration, mental illness created by the tragic events, and depression brought upon by memories of the horrors.

Anja Spiegelman is one such case.A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.

Publication History. Maus. Art and his father, Vladek. Through these interviews, the reader learns about Vladek’s life before the Holo- Anja, and life after the Holocaust.

Maus: My Father Bleeds History v. 1 : Art Spiegelman :

Characters • Art Spiegelman. is not only the writer and artist of. Maus, but also one of the two main characters. He. known and most celebrated Holocaust graphic novel, Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. The essay argues that Eisner’s is the most effective of the group.

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.

Examined in these terms, Art Spiegelman's Maus is a tremendous achievement, from a historical perspective as well as an artistic one.

Spiegelman, a stalwart of the underground comics scene of the s and '70s, interviewed his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor living /5(K). Maus is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, serialized from to It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor.

The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. Critics have classified Maus as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a Creator: Art Spiegelman.

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