“MAUS” Commentary: Page 82-83
‘’MAUS’’ is a two part story written and illustrated by Art Spiegelman. He started working on the book in 1978 and the first part was published in 1986. Spiegelman retells his father’s story within his own life story. In this graphic novel the author Art Spiegelman uses very original and interesting ways of designing his story in order to show the past and the present. By using different illustrations for the past and present, Spiegelman can display more easily the different times without having to explicitly express them. His aim is to tell a story within a story, and he therefore finds ways to make that easier in a graphic novel. By intertwining illustrations, transitions and narration all together, “MAUS” the reader can still understand the meaning of the story but with some visual help. A section of the book which portrays all these things very well is pages 82 and 83 for example.
The war is slowly rising in Poland, and the tensions are high. Vladek and most of his wife’s extended family are all living in the same house. Food is being rationed, citizens are worrying about what’s going to happen next and everyone is looking for some comfort or a way out. This extract starts with Vladek going to visit a friend of his, Ilzecki, when he notices something terrible going on around him. German guards are patrolling the streets and ‘’grabbing Jews, if they had papers or no.’’ This is followed by a tile shaped like a Star of David around Vladek, who feels like a walking target. This is then followed by two tiles where Vladek sees Ilzecki in the street, who leads him to his apartment to hide him. It is part dialogue and part narration, which is a consistent theme throughout the novel. After that, there is one long tile where there are only black silhouettes to show the men hiding. This is continued with six tiles of dialogue and narration between Vladek and Ilzecki discussing how to keep their sons safe during the war. Where the final...
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