Ib English: Macro

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Laura Meershoek

Outline

I'm going to discuss the following question: How and why is a social group represented in a particular way? I'm going to answer this question based on the book 'Maus' written by Art Spiegelman. I've chosen this question because I thought it was quite interesting why the author uses animals for different social groups instead of just using humans.

Points of focus:
* How did Art Spiegelman portray different social groups
* Why did he chose for this method
* Explain the choice for the animals (like mice to represent the Jewish people.)

Written task 2
How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?

In 'Maus' the author chose to use animals to represent different social groups. For example, the Jewish people are shown as mice whereas the Germans are shown as cats. This isn't the most common way to portray communities, but I think Art Spiegelman made a great choice using animals to portray the different social groups.

The first animals we find in the book are the mice followed by cats. The mice represent the Jewish people and the cats represent the German people. There is one obvious reason for the use of these two type of animals: Cats prey on mice. Art Spiegelman knew this was/is a generally known fact and when he thought about the animals he had to use to represent the Jewish and the German people there couldn't have been any doubt but to chose for the cats and mice. If you portray the German people as cats and the Jewish as mice, everyone instantly knows the cats are the 'bad guys' in the story. Mice are also known as innocent, helpless (especially compared to cats) animals which helps state the fact that the Jews where innocent in the holocaust. I also believe that the author chose mice because mice look like rats, and rats are known as 'low animals' and Jews where at that time also seen as 'low people'. You can then ask yourself why he didn’t use rats instead of mice to make this...
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