Analysis Of Maus By Art Spiegelman

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Maus by Art Spiegelman is a World War II survivor written from a Jewish perspective. The book is however not representing a typical survivor tale, as Spiegelman has decided to tell it in a new, unconventional but revolutionary way; a comic strip. Even though comic strips are said to represent fiction, they can actually successfully transmit real stories and add a new dimension to it. This new dimension is generated by combining text and image. Spiegelman has decided to fully make use of this unique genre by portraying different ethnicities or nationalities in form of anthropomorphic creatures. Each social group is drawn with both a human body and the head of an animal: Germans are portrayed as cats; Jews are as mice; Americans as dogs, Poles as pigs and the French as frogs. This concept sounds interesting, but why are these social groups actually represented in this particular way? Why did he choose for such a presentation and why these animals?
First of all Spiegelman has accomplished to tell the story in a very realistic way. This can be considered to be remarkable as Spiegelman makes use of an animal allegory: the characters have animal heads and a human body. But the human body isn’t the only human characteristic: they also speak like human beings, behave like human beings, feel like human beings and think as human beings. Despite the animal heads the characters do not identify themselves as animals. For example, the girlfriend of the main character
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