Maus Essay

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Maus Essay

Maus is very successful in the representation of the Holocaust as it is a graphic novel that uses many verbal and visual techniques. These techniques help to portray the hardships experienced by the Jews during the Holocaust. Two key moments that are successful in the representation of the Holocaust are when Anja and Vladek are on the train and they see the swastika for the first time and when the mice arrive at Auschwitz.

The first key moment in Maus by Art Spiegelman is when Anja and Vladek are on the train on the way to the sanitarium and they see the swastika hanging outside. This moment is successful in the representation of the Holocaust as it shows what happened in the early stages of the Holocaust and hinted to people that war and tough times were coming. “Everybody – every Jew from the train – got excited and frightened”. This quote captured exactly how the Jews felt before the war broke out. It was a shock to them, as they hadn’t seen the swastika before. It alarmed them and foreshadowed what was to come. This frame is very large, which emphasizes the significance of this event to the Jews. It illustrates how it shook them and had a big impact on them. The frame is one of the largest in the book, which depicts how important it is in Vladek’s story. In this frame, the Nazi flag is centered and above the mice. This conveys power, dominance and superiority over the mice. The readers are forced to look at the flag as their eyes are drawn to it. The two main themes shown in this frame are power and identity. Power is portrayed though the Nazi flag being above the mice and overpowering them in this frame. Identity is shown through the mice’s expressions. They are worried and scared and questioning what will happen to them. This is due to their identity and the fact that they are Jewish. Their identity plays an important part in this frame and they would not be worried if it wasn’t for their Jewish identity. Through the techniques used in...
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