I had many mixed feelings about Maus coming into this project. I was honestly a bit confused and at the same time intrigued with the notion of taking such a horrific time in human history and turning it into a graphic novel. More specifically a graphic novel where the people are portrayed as cats and mice! My initial thought was that this seemed, perhaps, a little disrespectful and did not portray the stories of his father with the weight that they clearly carry. Yet over the course of my reading the novel and through a great deal of research I have come to realize that perhaps it is the perfect medium to tell this kind of a story in. Not only does the imagery offer a startling parallel to the truth between beast and human, but simultaneously it offers just enough distance to the reality of the events that we can experience them with out feeling uncomfortable. It’s like the visual representation of these humans as mice makes it easier to witness what they went through with it being too shocking. I believe it also allows the reader to concentrate more strongly on the stories them selves rather than get de-railed by the gruesome details found within them.
Here is a link to a paper written by a University of Toronto student analyzing the graphic novel “vehicle” that Spiegelman’s story rides: http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/prandium/article/download/16285/13250
A perfect example of the violence portrayed in Maus, made slightly more bearable by the imagery of mice.
“Littérature Graphique / Graphic Literature: MAUS, A Survivor’s Tale.”Littérature Graphique / Graphic Literature: MAUS, A Survivor’s Tale. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
Image from Maus of bodies being burnt.
Kohli, Puneet. The Memory and Legacy of Trauma in Art Spiegelman’s Maus.Http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/prandium/article/download/16285/13250. The Department of Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
Here is a link to a paper written by a University of Toronto student