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A Game of Cat and Maus

Page history last edited by Sue Muecke 10 years, 4 months ago

A Game of Cat and Maus



In a response of approximately 250 words,  please identify the argument or purpose you think Art Spiegelman is trying to convey in Maus.  Then relate your favorite scene/section from the graphic novel.


Post your response as a comment below.  Responses need to be posted by 5:00pm on Thursday, September 16.

Comments (32)

Alex said

at 2:38 pm on Sep 15, 2010

There are many ways in which people interpret holocaust stories. Most of the time, it’s about personal experience or how knowledgeable they are on the subject. Art Spiegelman decided to portray all the characters as animals instead of humans. This I found very effective in somewhat ridding the books of the devastating reality that was the holocaust. I’d say he had a few purposes in writing such a book/graphic novel. First of all, he was probably very interested in his father’s story and what he really had to go through, and wanted to share it with the world. Secondly, he was always interested in comics, and wanted to join the small list of acclaimed authors who had had graphic novels published at the time.

Alex said

at 2:38 pm on Sep 15, 2010

I’m not sure if I have a “favorite” part of either of the books, I enjoyed them quite a bit as a whole. His ability to include such a large amount of information and detail into such short novels astounds me. I guess if I’d have to choose a certain section, it’d be page 5 and 6 of the first book, where it flashes back to when Art was a child rollerblading, and get’s ditched by his friends when he falls. He goes crying to his father who says, “Friends?...If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week…THEN you could see what it is, friends!...” At the time, I’m sure Art had no clue as to what his father was linking that experience to, but now that I have read both books and go back, it’s an extremely strong point he’s making.

Melinda Klakulak said

at 5:42 pm on Sep 15, 2010

In the two graphic novels Maus one and Maus two, I feel that the main message that the author Art Spiegelman is trying to convey is the experience that the Jewish people had to go through during the holocaust. He explains different parts of the holocaust both things that were good and that were bad; however, there were not many parts of the novel that portrayed good experiences during the holocaust.

He explains these events that happened by retelling his father’s story. Throughout the book Art is sitting with his father Vlakek listening to Vlakek’s story about his experience with the holocaust. I feel that Spiegelman did this to allow the readers to understand that this is based on a true story about what many people went through during this time. I feel the point of doing this was to appeal to the reader’s emotions. A story that is based on a true story is more of an emotional story to most readers because not only are they imaging what is happening, they also know that these terrible events are a huge part of someone’s life.

Although there were many parts of both novels that were heartbreaking, I really enjoyed reading both Maus one and Maus two. I felt they were both very effective books grabbing the reader’s attention and keeping it. I also felt that theses novels had history behind them and were an informative piece of writing. The part of the novel I enjoyed the most is when the war is over and Vlakek finally meet up with Anja. This was my favorite part because it was the happiest moment in the novel and it showed the readers that no matter how bad things get, there is always hope.

Ashley Tannahill said

at 12:30 am on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus I and II, Art Spiegelman portrayed the Holocaust in a way that other authors never thought to do. His purpose was to inform readers about WWII without writing a typical book, so he decided to tell his story through a graphic novel. Through out the graphic novel, Spiegelman used animals that corresponded with character’s different backgrounds, which seems like a small detail but really proved to be effective. The argument of the novel revolves around survival. Even though Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, was alive after the Holocaust, he wasn’t what you would call a survivor. There was no way Vladek could continue on living a normal life, and when most WWII stories focus on the actual war and concentration camps, Maus I and II goes one step further, and retells the story of a survivor’s life after the Holocaust. Spiegelman’s main purpose in his stories were to provide credible information about a historical event that left millions dead and millions, alive but unable to truly gain back the joy of life. The fact that there were graphics that went along with each strip enforced the imagery to become even more horrifying. The scene that hit me the hardest through both graphic novels would have to be in Maus II where Vladek is diagnosed with Typhus and is traveling across the corridor to use the bathroom. The floor was covered with dead bodies that it was inevitable to step on them, and Vladek says, “Now I will be laying like this ones and somebody will step on me” (pg 95). This quote and scene combination strikes me as particularly depressing. Overall, both books leave a lasting impression of how truly haunting the Holocaust was.

James Logan said

at 1:08 am on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus, Art Spiegelman delves into the horrendous story of the Holocaust. His father, Vladek, who is a survivor, dwells upon personal experiences and shares them with his son. In the graphic narratives, Art chooses to depict the people involved in his father’s story as different kinds of animals. By doing so, I believe that Art was trying to detach the reader from real life since the Holocaust was such a devastating part of history. I also believe that by portraying the characters as animals, Art had hoped to accomplish to alter the mindset of how people perceive each other and not just base each other on nationality or ethnicity.
By choosing to write about the Holocaust, I believe that Art Spiegelman was trying to demonstrate how much his father’s past experiences meant to him and how it was to grow up with a father who was a survivor and ultimately could have determined what kind of person he had become. I am convinced that Art Spiegelman believed that it was essential that he diffuse the first-hand accounts told by his father as a means to illustrate to the public how much of a tragedy the Holocaust was and that we are to remember what it was like in order to ever prevent it from occurring again.
My favorite scene from Maus would have to be from the very beginning of book one when Art’s father tells him that the only way he will know who his true friends are is when he is locked in a room with them for a week with no food. I found this statement to be so powerful because it basically summarized all of the struggles that Art’s father had to endure in the concentration camps and what his experience was like while he was there. It also made me reflect on how vicious and inhumane people could potentially become when rations are so spare and only survival skills are intact.

frederick diggs said

at 9:12 am on Sep 16, 2010

In maus two , his Father talk about the his life as well as many other who experience such bad things on the camp site. such many who were on the camp site did not have the right kind of pants or shirts on but still many jew when on with it. in maus two the it show how people are in animal. As a surivior art father want to live a normal life because many chidren did not really had it hard and i think Veladek he want wanted to tell everyone about his story does that mean everyone will look at things different? maybe or maybe not In maus two it was such sad story to me because when his wife has left him and have taken all of his money, he have been saving his money for years maus. one of my favorite part is when art and his wife had to go and stay with his father and his want art to stay for some weeks but art did not to but he still anyway. i really like maus two because it explains how many have live and many who have died. never the less it would be nice to have meet some one who has been in the holcaust. in muas two it leave a sad and powerful thinking on the Holocaust

George Formicola said

at 9:51 am on Sep 16, 2010

The purpose of Art Spiegelman’s “Maus I” and “Maus II”, is to inform readers about some of the events that happened during the Holocaust and World War II. Many people read about events that occurred in history books and see pictures, but Spiegelman wanted them to get a different perspective of what Jews went through. He did this by writing his book as a graphic novel. This makes the reader able to “see” what is really going on, instead of having to use their imagination if they only saw words. Maus I and Maus II are both very well written and creative in the sense that Spiegelman used animals instead of people. I would have to say that my favorite scene from the book was from at the end of Maus II, when the last picture was of Vladek and Anja both had a tombstone and they were finally together again. They had both been through so much, and so had their son, but to finally be together, it made the book end in a way that seemed unexpected. Another favorite part of mine was from the very beginning of Maus I, where there is a quote from Hitler. The quote reads, “the Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” I think that this was the best way to start the book because throughout both stories, Spiegelman uses animals to depict Jews, Nazis, Americans, etc. This brings a new perspective on how a Jew (Speigelman) views the Holocaust and the events that occurred.

Ciara Sweeney said

at 11:02 am on Sep 16, 2010

The Muas novels are stories about the holocaust and what the Jews had to go through during this time period. Also these two had pictures for each scene which most books and even history don’t so you would have to image what was going on. He used animals as the characters like dogs were the Americans and the mice’s were the Jews. I think he used the animals so people would have a better understanding and really feel what they had to go through. Muas I and II had some good details mainly because it was the author father story what actually happens to him. The part that stood out to me was how the baby was killed; he was poison mainly to die peacefully. What they went through was torture in my eyes because I could only imagine living in fear but the actually live in it. Even though this was like a comic book to me because of the setup of the pictures and the black & white coloring was hard for me to gasp.

Brianne Blankenship said

at 12:12 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In both of the novels I really enjoyed reading both, but I would say I enjoyed Maus I better. I think Art Speigelman's purpose of writing these two novels graphically was to try and give readers a vivid picture of what went on during the holocaust. Speigelman was very creative with these two novels. I wouldn't my most favorite part of the books was in Maus 1, I forget what chapter but the chapter where he talks of them hiding and trying to keep the family together, maybe the whole idea of just reading about someone actually going through the holocaust is what really caught my attention. When I first looked at the books the saying really goes don't judge a book by its cover. As you are reading it’s like you get so interested in what is going to happen next and you don't even realize what you’re reading is a comic book. I think his whole purpose was to give a different outlook to readers about World War I and the Holocaust. Most people are used to reading straight forward word accounts of what Jewish went through during these times. I really enjoyed this book and Speigelman’s whole idea of wanting to give readers and idea with pictures rather than just imagining it in their heads.

Timothy Fulwylie said

at 12:14 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In the Maus I and II, Art Spiegleman is trying to give you an idea about how the Jewish culture survived during the holocaust. Spiegelman’s graphic novels give you an idea of his father’s life during and after WWII. His father, Vladek, who survivor is sharing his real life experience with Artie, his son. Spiegelman’s intentions in his books to let readers know his in take on the holocaust. By doing a graphic novel, Spiegelman not only get your attention with words but the picture help gasp the actuality. Like on page 35 when the police is beating the Jews. That picture to shows the injustice and the struggle they overcame. Although I hate reading the Maus saga was enjoyable. Not only was it interesting it was a sad true story that kept me reading.

Abby Constant said

at 12:23 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art Spiegelman wrote Maus I and Maus II in order to tell readers about the Holocaust and the victims that survived the event. In the graphic novels, Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, is telling his own story. When it comes to stories regarding the Holocaust, one can usually expect what they will hear or read. By making the novels into a comic form, Spiegelman made the stories unexpected. Readers can not only read the story, but also see it. In my opinion, this made the graphic novels have more of an impact. Also, by depicting the characters as animals (mice as Jews, cats as Nazis, pigs as Poles, and dogs as Americans) it is visibly obvious why there is discrimination. If Spiegelman had used human figures to depict the characters, someone who may not be familiar with the topic of the Holocaust may not get the full idea of the extreme discrimination against Jews at that time.

Abby Constant said

at 12:23 pm on Sep 16, 2010

I really enjoyed reading these graphic novels and there were a few parts that impacted me the most. On page 12 of Maus I, there is a close up picture of Vladek pedaling and tattooed numbers are visible on his wrist. In any story about the Holocaust and concentration camps, the numbers that were tattooed on the Jews have always disturbed me because in the eyes of the Nazis, Jews were not people. They were only numbers. When I noticed that Spiegelman included this, it gave the story more validity in my eyes. The other part that affected me was the part we discussed in class on page 108. This is where the Nazi is swinging the child into a wall. In this particular drawing, one can’t tell that the Nazi is a cat and the Jewish child is a mouse. They both look human and it is rather disturbing.

Megan Markwardt said

at 12:30 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, the Holocaust is displayed as very graphic and in a way unlike any other Holocaust novels. The way it is portrayed is very effective in understanding what someone would go through if they had been in the Holocaust. The graphic pictures help you visualize what it was really like and help you create a better image in your head. The fact that he used different animals to represent different races also helped with the visualization. It showed how Hitler and the Nazis viewed the races, that they were in fact different than the other races. Also, it created irony by Spiegelman choosing the Jewish as mouse, the Nazis as cats, and the Americans as dogs. As well as the graphic images, I like how he tells the story of how life was like before and after the Holocaust. This setup made it easier to read, giving the reader a break from the intense story. Also, by giving more background information to better understand the character and showing what life was like after going through something so traumatic like the Holocaust. The part that affected me the most, which really stuck in my head, was when Vladek was on the train to Germany and they shoved hundreds of people into a small space. Knowing that someone had to go through something like that is sickening. Spiegelman’s purpose in writing this graphic novel was to give people a real story, first hand of what it was like and he did a great job of exposing and describing it.

Mohamad Kaakarli said

at 12:58 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art Spiegelman writes Maus as a graphic novel, this means he must interpret the words his father speaks into pictures. This can be difficult because not all critics will share the same perspective as he has. Nevertheless, it is safe to say no one saw the Holocaust in his perspective, for he used animals to differentiate between one race and another. This unique and insightful method also had an allegorical back story to it. The Jews were represented as mice, which are small weak and are always hiding. The Poles were represented by pigs. I believe Spiegelman was trying to say were just there lazily not doing much to help, and if they were to help there had to be money involved. And lastly the Nazi’s were represented as cats, this was done because cats prey on mice, the way Nazi’s did on the Jews.
My favorite scene in the graphic novel would probably be when Vladek and Anja were deceived by the smugglers and were instead sent to Auschwitz. This is my favorite scene because I was anxious to find out how then his cousin had written to him saying these guys were safe. It made me pause from my reading and come up with a conclusion. My conclusion is that the Polish smugglers tricked them as well and sent them to Auschwitz with the Nazi’s but prior to doing so forced Vladek’s cousin into lying in the letter. I believe I will have the answer to my question in Maus 2.

Adrianna Jones said

at 1:08 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art Spiegelman was brilliant for coming up with such a work of art. In short, both Maus I and Maus II covered his father’s, Vladek life story and experience about the war in Poland. It begins describing of what Valdek’s life was before the war. How handsome he was and how he had married into wealth. Things were great with Anja, Richieu, (their son) and him until the war begun. Although it was such a tragic time for his father, the love he and his wife shared kept them going. For people who really don’t care much about reading such books, novels, narratives, etc; Maus I and II was great at keeping me alert and most of all interesting. The thing I find most interesting is the fact that it’s written as a comic. It’s one thing to have the words in front of you but it’s another to actually have pictures. He also uses animals to better reference the difference between the Jews, Americans, and Nazis etc. It’s basically doing the imaging for you.

Adrianna Jones said

at 1:09 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art definitely appeals to the audience through emotions. For instances, the picture on page 72 shows many of Jews burning in a oven as one Jew prisoner explains how they had to scoop and pour the fat burning from their bodies back on to them so they could burn better ( Maus II ). This to me is one of the most horrifying pictures. How could you read this and not possibly feel for those Jews? It makes you think about all the horrific things the Nazis did not only to the adults but children. Art’s purpose of Maus wasn’t to add to the collection of books already out about the Nazis, but basically to describe what it was like to be a survivor. I believe he wanted his audience to firsthand experience what his father had before and after the war. Was Valdek really a survivor? Some may say no however, I believe he was. Of course he literally survived the war, that’s pretty clear. Afterwards however, life starts to take a toll on him after everyone he loves dies, especially after Anja commits suicide. It’s clear that Valdek is a complete hot mess but he keeps living, he keeps loving, trying to be independent. He could have been committed suicide just as Anja but he doesn’t. He survives till the very end after having one of his many heart-attacks.

Nick Stilson said

at 1:40 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Maus I and II are two very well written graphic novels about what one man in particular had to endure, experience and fight through during his time during the Holocaust. More importantly however, it is a story about how one man's love for his wife kept him fighting through all the torment and struggles he had to go through to survive just to see her face one more time, not ever knowing if that one more time will be the last time they ever see each other.

Something I picked up rather quickly while reading Maus II is that Art seemed to be suffering a case of survivor's guilt himself. One of the most memorable scenes in the novel for me would have to be in “Time Flies” because Art says something that really made me believe that he had survivor's guilt which is something I didn't even consider before reading this. He says, “Maybe everyone has to feel guilty. Everyone! Forever!” I feel that he has survivor's guilt because he has survived while his brother unfortunately had to go through the demons of the Holocaust and lost his life in doing so.

This lead me to believe that although Vladek and Art had so many different views on such things as simple as groceries and home maintenance the one thing that they shared together was the feeling of survivor's guilt. Vladek felt guilt for watching his whole family perish in the Holocaust while he was able to make it out with his life, while Art reflects on life with an older brother named Richieu that he will never be able to meet and forever wonder, what if?

Dennis Nosis said

at 2:40 pm on Sep 16, 2010

The graphic novel Maus was very well written and illustrated. The story tells of Art Spiegelman’s book in the making as well as the story of the Holocaust from his father Vladek's point of view. I like how he broke the fourth barrier there. The book is a graphic novel, so you can see the horrified, scared, angry, and sometimes happy faces of each character. I believe this helps tell the story better since your imagination can only picture what the words of a novel say to an extent. The book was very detailed and brought the emotions of each character, and eventually the reader, to life. I believe Art Spiegelman could have been trying to say a number of things with this book. It could have been to learn more and never forget about the Holocaust, especially since, sadly, people today are starting to say that the Holocaust never happened. He could be saying to listen more closely to the stories of your parents, because you may learn something you never imagined about the people you supposedly knew all your life. He could also be saying that humans are unique creatures and you can never suspect what they are capable of, whether it is something saintly, ingenious, or absolutely horrific.

Dennis Nosis said

at 2:41 pm on Sep 16, 2010

My favorite, or a better put would be most touching, parts of Maus would have to be the part where Art is trying to figure out which animal Françoise should be, because I thought the explaination for her being a mouse was pretty funny, especially since this story is a very serious one, and I believe it was a good source of realistic comic relief. Another part that touched me was the very end, when Vladek calls Art Richieu. It shows that he is going senile, but it also shows that the history of the Holocaust is slowly fading from not only from the survivors, but possibly from the world.

Kendra Williams said

at 2:56 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Maus 1 and11 are both graphic novels that a son tells about his father surviving the holocaust. It’s a good play between the past and the present because you can really distinguish between Poland then and Poland now. I liked how Art made sure that us the audience knows that the people in the Holocaust weren’t all just poor people. Valdek was a wealthy man and Anja came from a wealthy family. I also liked how you could make out that there was a clear description of how discrimination was going on. It’s kind of funny that the mice were the Jews and the cats were the natzi because cats do chase mice and the dogs (the Americans) gets rid of everything. What I liked about Maus 11 was that Art was telling how he was feeling guilty about having a good life growing up and his parents and brother didn’t. it shows to me that he really wanted to feel what his parents were going through so that he could have his own story to tell. I’m not going to say it was my favorite part but the scene that stuck with me the most was chapter 4 page 108. The picture that I am referring to is the Germans smashing the Jew boy into the wall all because he wouldn’t be quiet. It stuck because you couldn’t that it was a cat and mouse; it actually looked like a man smashing a little boy into the wall killing him.

Bradley Clark said

at 3:00 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art Spiegelman was a visionary in his conception of both Maus and Maus 2. Maus, the first of the two graphic novels, tackled a controversial subject in a vessel that most thought should be left for super heroes and comic book villains. But it was due to the pioneering efforts of Maus that many other non-comic book subjects were able to be transitioned into graphic novels. Both books told the tale of Artie Spiegelman and his writing of a graphic novel based on the events of the Holocaust, told from the perspective of his father, Vladek Spiegelman.

An overriding argument that I saw within the reading was posed as more of a question: What does it mean to survive? Vladek’s first wife, Anja, did not survive. She took her life under the pressure of the events and struggles she endured during the Holocaust. Vladek, on the other hand, lived. But when viewing Vladek and his life after the Holocaust, it leaves the reader to wonder if he really survived, and what it truly means to survive. Yes, he did live to tell the story, but I believe that to survive is synonymous with living while retaining the will to live and not to merely be alive. When I see Vladek and his existence after the Holocaust, I am reluctant to call him a survivor. He seems to have lost all will to continue to live and is simply repeating his daily routines until he dies. That is not survival.

Bradley Clark said

at 3:00 pm on Sep 16, 2010

However, when all was said and done, I did have a favorite scene in the book. There were many potential events of triumph that I could have chosen as my favorite, but it was the final page of Maus 2 that I was able to find my most cherished moment in the complete Maus. This is not just another small peak before a seemingly endless series of valleys, but the final mountaintop. I am not one who can easily become attached to characters within books, but it was through the amazing literary talent of Art Spiegelman that I was able to connect with the characters and, ultimately, have a huge sense of joy and relief when their troubles had finally left them. This book was a roller coaster of events, but it was not until the cars had come to a halt that I was able to celebrate their emancipation.

Hannah Selewski said

at 3:10 pm on Sep 16, 2010

There have been many different ways that the Holocaust has been described to the generations that have come after this horrific time in history. Most of the textbooks take a similar approach in describing what had happened during this time, and all the personal stories of survivors, or those who were witnesses of this unjust cruelty give you detailed insight from all aspects of the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman, however, was able to give us a new perspective with his graphic novel Maus, which I think enables new generations to experience and gain knowledge of Holocaust survivors’(Vladek and Anja) own story of their struggle to survive. I think Spiegelman wanted to approach the Holocaust in a way that has not been done before, and by telling his parent’s story by means of a graphic novel was a way for him to make it more personal, and “in your face” then he would have accomplished by just writing a regular novel.

There were many parts in both books that had an impact on me, but one in particular was in Maus II, when Vladek was ordered to dismantle the crematorium. The way in which he described the function of all the different sections of the “big bakery” really impacted my emotions. Especially the fact everyone led into this facility of death had the notion they were just being led to the showers. The fear that they must have felt after the realization that they were being led to their death is something that is unconceivable. Also the fact that is was Vladek’s job to eliminate any evidence of what the Nazis had done makes me extremely pissed off that they acted so superior but all they really were was Evil Cowards.

Sean Kozara said

at 3:45 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman, the main purpose is to inform readers about the horrible events Jews had to endure during the Holocaust by sharing his father’s experience by creating a graphic novel. I enjoyed reading both of the books and I thought it was an interesting way to write the novel which, to me, was very effective. This allowed the readers to be able to read the story and also to be able to visualize the story for a deeper meaning. The drawings were very detailed but not over the top that they took the reader’s attention off the novel itself. Maus I and Maus II had my interest the entire time because of the way it was written. I liked the idea of using animals to portray the various ethnic groups in the novel. This helped to visualize and see the difference between the Nazis (Cats), Jews (Mice), and Polish (Pigs).
I enjoyed both books as a whole but the part that impacted me the most was in chapter two of Maus II when it is describing the crematorium and what happened there. “People believed really it was a place for showers…everyone crowded inside into the shower room, the door closed, and the lights turned dark. Zyklon B pesticide dropped into hollow columns…but soon was nobody anymore alive.” This is just horrifying and disturbing that something like this took place. Overall, a good read it was interesting and I liked it.

Keiona Harris said

at 4:42 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus I and II I think that Art Spiegelman’s main purpose is to let others know how Jews were mistreated during the holocaust. I like how Spiegelman went about creating this novel, by using graphics on a serious topic. Most authors would not make a comic book to talk about a tragedy of this magnitude, but Spiegelman greatly portrayed the pain the Jews experienced not only in words but also in picture. In the first book I didn’t pay attention to the pictures, but while reading the second one I tried to pay more attention to the graphics so I could grasp exactly what Spiegelman wanted his audience to grasp.
My ‘favorite’ part was in Maus I on page 108, Spiegelman really spoke to my emotions on that part. “Some kids were screaming and screaming. They couldn’t stop. So the Germans swinged them against the wall. And they never screamed anymore.” I love children so for me to have mentally picture this scene and see it drawn out, it really gave me a feel of some of the pain the Jews went through. I also found Maus II interesting because it showed how guilty Vladek felt about the Holocaust and how he was still suffering from the pain of it all. I could sympathize with Vladek in chapter 3 of Maus II when he was practically forcing his son to take the cereal because he was still use to saving every bit of food he could, even the smallest amounts.

Keiona Harris said

at 4:42 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Spiegelman explained the holocaust in an interesting and a very well illustrated way. He even added some humor to the story which could be hard to do with such a serious topic but he got his point across in an entertaining yet informational way, which made the story easy to read.

Sara Bazzi said

at 4:58 pm on Sep 16, 2010

Art Spiegelman used Maus as a tool to help readers experience the holocaust in a watered down fashion, he tells a tale of his fathers survival and the demise of his family. I find that his use of animals to represent humans was rather childish and quite frankly an insult to Jewish people, representing the Jews as mice is calling them a measly and weak race. While some may argue that using animals makes it a bit more easier to stomach, this is not an event that should be less gut wrenching and emotional in the name of informing. Sometimes the raw truth is what is needed, as in the case of the holocaust. I applaud Speigelman’s artistic abilities and his appeal to his audience, but i frown upon the form of his work, this is not referring to the form as in a graphic novel but the way he approached it, humor even in the slightest form has no room in a book about the holocaust, a time of mass murder, discrimination, killing in the vilest form. This book should be used in middle school to inform younger children without too much detail. While there were components that i disagreed with, overall i feel like it informed the audience it targeted, while keeping a sense of family to it. My favorite part would have to be the actual progression of Artie extracting information from Vladek for his book. It was very different than any book that i have ever read about the holocaust.

Fahad Chudhry said

at 5:18 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In Maus I and Maus II by Art Speigelman, the main point of the books were to inform people of the horrific events that took place during Holocaust. He took the most different approach about writing his book on the Holocaust because most history books talk about the whole war and in general talk about the holocaust and how it was genocide. Art Speigelman explains the holocaust from a personal perceptive. It was a personal story of a man name Vladek, who survives the holocaust and tries to explain to his son about the history of his people. The novel was written in two parts, in a comic style novel and it was one the most interesting ways of reading a book, which as a deep meaning to it. The books both portray the people as animals because Speigelman uses them as symbolism such as the Polish (pigs), Jews (mice), Nazis (cats), and Americans (dogs). Maus II was the one I liked reading more because Vladek talks about his experience at the camps and how he used his workmanship skills in the camps to survive during the abuse in the camps. Also what I liked in the second novel was that the way Vladek was told he would be a survivor by the priest. One of the other parts I like in the book is the fact that there unconditional for his wife Anja, who he goes all out to protect and save during the camp’s brutality. The other thing that touched me in the end of Maus II was the face that even though Vladek passed away his grave was right next Anja, who was the love his life and like they say true love lasts forever. Other than that I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this to other people.

Andrew Cox said

at 8:08 pm on Sep 16, 2010

In Art Speigleman‘s Maus 1 and Maus 2 I think he wasn’t just trying to exaggerated the effects of the holocaust or to bring up the subject again for nothing. He did it to show how it affected someone in his family’s life and he wanted to tell their story. He didn’t just write another story about the history of the holocaust. He used pictures to explain stuff and he used different animals to show the different people and standings. I really liked the way he did that because it really showed me how people viewed the Jews as lowly people and like mice. Also I like how he portrayed the Germans as the cats because at the time the Germans were chasing all the Jews away like cats chase mice. It was just cool how he did that. But my favorite part and part that I am going to carry with me along time is the part when Vladek talks about everything the families do to stay together. Family is a big thing to me I wouldn’t be anywhere If it wasn’t for my family so I couldn’t even imagine having my mom take her own life or watching my parents struggle through the holocaust watching them getting separated knowing what was happening to some and what didn’t happen to others.

Andrew Cox said

at 8:08 pm on Sep 16, 2010

The pictures and descriptions were grim but they were very important and very influential. Vladek no matter what Artie or Mala said he was a true family man he was always trying to find a way for them to survive even if it cost him his life.

Ricardo Ramirez said

at 11:03 pm on Sep 16, 2010

I believe that the purpose of this graphic novel, or at least what Art Spiegelman is trying to convey is not about the survival of the characters, but the struggle that and the fight that each one gave to try to survive the mortal dangers that surrounded them day and night. By that I mean that as we saw, not everybody survived, many died, some of them even killed them-selves, but each of them tried to get at least one more day of life each day. I really loved the way that this novel was illustrated, the black and white really makes you feel I think that someone what the people lived throughout the holocaust, because the dark colors makes it feel like they were living a dull life.

Nicolette Horsley said

at 10:18 am on Sep 17, 2010

I think that Art Spiegelman's purpose for writing Maus I and II, was to show someones story of what happened to them while going through the holocaust, but not only the holocaust, he showed his fathers life and how he was before, during, and after the holocaust up until the day he died. I believe that Art was trying to show his readers the struggles that people go through after witnessing what his father witnessed. I also feel that Spiegelman was trying to show how precious each day was to the people living through Auschwitz. In present time, nobody thinks about how precious each day is. People take things for granted, like food, water, and clothing, things that some people never had. During the holocaust these things were luxuries. I feel that my favorite part from the books, or the part that stuck out the most was when Anja and Vladek reunite, in chapter 5 on the last page of Maus II. It was so touching that after everything they went through, Vladek and Anja still managed to find eachother and end up together again. On the bottom of the last page it also shows Vladek and Anja's grave, they were buried together so that they could truely be together forever. Overall i think this book was a really good book, and a new perspective of the Holocaust. It gives everyone a different view of what happened and the pictures help to understand better. I would recommend this book to others.

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