Literary Devices In Maus

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Literary Devices in Maus I & II

“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” Art Spiegleman begins his father’s short biography of his life in World War II with these words once spoken by Hitler. It’s a trivial representation of the absolute horror, and pointless hatred Vladek and millions of other Jews faced during this time. Art Spiegleman uses powerful literary elements like this throughout Maus, that almost flawlessly convey to the reader the emotional and physical turmoil Vladek faced, and the anguish Art feels in his attempt to document Vladek’s experience, while struggling to have some relationship with him. Art Spiegleman uses diction to set the overall mood of the story. Art explains in the book that his purpose wasn’t to guilt trip Germans, or make people feel sympathy for the victims of the holocaust, but simply to tell his father’s story and to share his relationship with him. Art delivers these experiences with resilient words. Art’s wife states that “it’s so claustrophobic being around Vladek.” (II.1.12) This was a compelling sentence to
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This is demonstrated in both the story of Vladek’s survival and Art’s attempt to reconcile with his father. In Maus, Art explains how he "can’t even make any sense out of my relationship with my father … how am I supposed to make sense out of Auschwitz? … of the Holocaust?” (II.1.4) Both protagonists in the book are confronted with troubles that drag the reader through the story as if they’re living it themselves. Art executes the dreary tone of this novel by sticking to the reality of the situations. As far as silver linings, even when Art starts to feel guilty about writing this book about his father, Vladek demonstrates acts of kindness, like when he tells Art that “Always it’s a pleasure when you visit.” (II.4.107) This cheerful interaction makes light of the few but powerful optimistic moments in this
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