Critical essay on maus

This scene illustrates the preference Vladek has for his first son, Richieu.

Behind the masks

In choosing this quote to be the last one in the book Artie displays that this competition with his brother has no end. This passage also demonstrates how much Vladek still wishes Richieu was there with him. It is definitely painful for Artie to be called Richieu. In addition to this last quote, Artie also chose to dedicate the book to Richieu, Vladek and Richieu felt the direct pain of the holocaust, and as much as Artie tried he would only be able to experience its indirect effects, and this would never hold up in any comparison.

Not only could he never experience the things Richieu did, he could never exchange any emotions. Artie was never going to be good enough for his father, or his ghost brother.

Essay about Maus: A Survivor's Tale - Words | Bartleby

He was stuck in a constant competition with someone no longer living. Writing Maus was what he did to relieve what was forced on him. Most books written about the holocaust are full of the direct effects, but his book took a new spin on the topic by focusing on the indirect effects. He would never stop competing with his brother. Work Cited: Spiegelman, Art. New York: Pantheon, Spiegelman, Art.

Want to know the price of your unique Paper? Get a Price. But this story and this photograph are real and authentic, and because of this photograph I was finally able to accept that this actually did happen to a real person, not a mouse.

Critical essay on maus

Spiegelman for the most part stays pretty consistent throughout the graphic novel with his panels and the way they are situated on the page. However, sometimes Spiegelman chooses to incorporate non-traditional techniques, such as tipping certain panels out, drawing panels with no borders, or drawing panels in which the reader can see Spiegelman drawing the page he or she is currently reading which is positively mind-bending.

As seen in the picture above, Spiegelman strategically drew in this photograph of Vladek.

Some people, including myself, consider this particular page to be collage-like. The photograph was drawn in slanted, however Spiegelman made the choice to shade in where the photograph or another panel was supposed to be.


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While reading the novel, I grew used to picturing the human characters as the animals they were drawn as. However, when I turned to page and saw the photograph of Vladek, I was stopped in my tracks. It does not fit in literally as in it does not fit in the panel boarders and metaphorically in that it is a human, not an animal.

You can see that Ernst decided to combine a landscape scene and a hand, with what looks like clouds and sun rays in the background.


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All of these things do not go together, which is quite confounding. Spiegelman although not as blatantly utilized this same collage technique, and I found that it had the same affect on me.

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Why did Spiegelman draw in the photograph of Vladek like that? This period of reflection allowed me to reevaluate how I saw and read the story. There is no doubt that Maus is an epic piece of both literature and art. Although not all of the pieces of the puzzle may fit perfectly in Maus , it is a profoundly moving story about survival as well as a beautiful way to pay homage to the person who survived it all.

Maus by Art Spiegelman (Book Review)

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