Animal Allegory In Maus

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The significance of the animal allegory in Maus reveals the critical importance of human nature. The children of Holocaust survivors grow up with unspoken tales of the hardships their families had to endure, yet they bear the past of the Holocaust within the present. This graphic novel is an attempt to acknowledge the victims of the Holocaust including his parents by taking account of his father Vladek’s story. Art spiegelman's rendition of his father’s story captures much of the sense of his father's words without compromising on other aspects such as, the validity of his memories. Spiegelman provides insight for the reader to draw their own conclusions on how Maus pays tribute to the survival and history of his parents more…show more content…
The anthropomorphic traits of the different nationalities as if the characters have human bodies with animals masks. In his interview, Graham Smith suggests that by using mask-like faces, where characters look roughly the same, the reader is able to focus their attention on the narrative whilst still in comic strip form(pg 30). The distancing device is actually what brings the reader closer to the roots of the material which is skilled comic artist approach. The reader in this graphic novel has no choice but to actively engage with the comic strip ( pg 30). This style, ironically, humanizes the characters by reinforcing the absurdity of racial divisions. Spiegelman has said that the metaphors are meant to “self-destruct”. He regularly plays with anthropomorphized characters interacting with their animal counterparts and has characters wear masks of other ‘races’. In his article about the oral history of Maus, Graham Smith showcases how using animals was used as a distancing effect(pg 29). The primary use of images within comics and graphic novels, such as Maus, forces the reader to acknowledge the events depicted graphically, on the page, whereas in prose novels readers are left to their imaginations. The graphic nature of Maus forces readers to acknowledge images of the Holocaust, calls “closure” within the
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