Maus I- Reaction Paper

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Date Submitted: 11/17/2012 08:00 PM

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Maus I: My Father Bleeds History

Before taking this course, I had no doubt that I knew a little something about the Holocaust. After reading many of the stories I began to understand that all the knowledge I possessed about this time period was useless.

Art Spiegelman’s Maus I not only revealed the horrific events through the personal dialogues with his father, but also through his own visual interpretations of the events. I was fully engaged in this book because it was stimulating for all of my senses.

As far back as I can remember I have been a visual learner. I firmly believe that this book was extremely intriguing to me because of the comic structure. The portrayal of Jews as mice and German Nazis as cats was the primary illustration that interested me and caused curiosity. I thought about this idea of these two races and the first thought was the cat hunting the mouse. The next was the everyday life of mice being very similar to the Jews’ during the Holocaust. The Jews spent their time in fear of predators and in hiding. Also, as Spiegelman’s story progressed, I found that the Jews had to rummage and scrounge for food and supplies to survive.

In my opinion, the dialogue between the author and his father had more of an impact than a first person narrative. The intimacy of the father-son relationship reveals a different story intermixed with a heroic tale of a Holocaust survivor. A human element is clearly shown that hasn’t been shown in the other stories I’ve read up to this point. It wasn’t an issue for me to relate to the characters in this story because of the personal accounts in the book. I also benefited from the author including his father’s broken English rather than correcting it to show the authenticity of the dialogue. The turmoil between Artie and Vladek unveiled the difficulties that Holocaust survivors and their families face even today. This sets the bar to show how painful the recollections are for the author’s father....