"Maus" essay

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Maus is a symbolic novel that was written and authored by Art Spiegelman as mimesis of the Germany holocaust in which thousands of Jews were killed the government of Hitler to celebrate the victory of the Third Reich. Spiegelman sought to present the life of his father through the lenses of the art and design without using words; the graphic novel is a huge success that details how social acrimony has affected people’s lives.

The author demonstrated superb creativity of story telling through the use of authentic pictorial illustrations to demonstrate the impacts of the holocaust that affected his father. Equally, the author employs strategic verbal tactics to deliver his messages to the reader. The image-text arrangement of the story created a historic graphic novel that is detailing events of the 1933 to 1944 through the eyes of the author’s father’s experience during the Germany human hunt.

The harrowing occurrences that took place in Poland between 1933 and 1944 are best described through the graphic composition in a manner that common prose fails; the author moves through Poland in the past covering the life of his father Vladek in which he acts as a witness of the holocaust; but he keeps interrupting the flow of the story by deliberately bring up the present life of the author in New York while he is recording the events. The ability of pictorial life representation to jump from the past into the future and crosscut back to the past and so on is a tactic that can only be used for illustrations. Prose needs to be coherent from one timeline period to another since readers can only interpret words and crosscutting from past into future and back can cause ambiguity. On the contrary, a viewer or reader of pictorial representation can easily tell setting differences by looking at the movement of the frames; for example the author split the first frame into two to give the life of Vladek.   

Besides, the story qualifies to be preserved in the annals of history of 20th century turbulent times as a general social approach to counter xenophobia and war related acrimony that develops pout of social acrimony. However, the author lacks to bring out the other argument in which the victims of the holocaust were used by their society leaders in foreign countries to threaten the Germany government of disrupting international trade traffic to Germany. Furthermore, the Jews society staged demonstration earlier in 1933 to 1935 to urge United States and the world to stop trading with Germany because of dictator leadership that denied Jews a chance to serve the Germany public. 

Pictorial composition allows the author to jungle up the plot and play with ideas whereby he is able to mix characters in the comic story. For instance the comic centers about cat and mouse war that is momentarily cut by three frames to allow the author to introduce his family during the summer1948 in a photo that is shows that Art is 10 year old with his mother and father. The subsequent death of Anja in 1968 is recorded in a sorrowful manner that antagonizes the death of the rats that represent Jews (Zelizer 32).  

The death of the author’s mother is registered as a Germany Obituary in the comic book, a tactic that prose cannot achieve with the same magnitude. According to Barbie Zelizer, the four pages that represent the dark agony of the family that Art and his father feel for the lost Anja is representing the agony the family felt when in Poland (33). Yet, the similitude emotional agony is more intense when affecting a single family than when discussing about the death of many groups of people who can be stereotyped as rats in the case of Jews. The traumatic events that took the life of Art’s mother are recounted as suicide following intense Auschwitz traumatic events that affected the life of the author’s mother to the extreme point.

Prose irony is quite strength and simplistic in nature; Art reproduces pictorial irony in which on losing his mother to suicide he confronts his father instead of interviewing him about his experiences in Poland thus disrupting the flow of the plot. Trauma forces the author to perform a mimesis of his death in which he picture himself to be lost and death in his mother’s wombs were it that his mother dies before giving birth to him. These thoughts affect the author deeply that he pictures Auschwitz as a place of murder and emotional imprisonment in which case ironical it is his mother who is the perpetrator of the murder while the Art the author is he victim to create dramatic irony; “You put me here….shorted all my circuits…cut my nerves endings…and crossed my wire! You murdered me, mommy, and you left me here to take the rap!” (Spiegelman I: 103). The experience the author details happened to the rats or Jews, but ironical the author turns himself into the Nazi victim to represent the fact that he was sad that his mother died because of the Nazi victimization memories. Nevertheless, the author reprimands that mother through the irony for committing suicide leaving behind is own son in a place of no motherly love. 

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