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Use of Masks in Maus
Transcript of Use of Masks in Maus
By Charnay and Michelle
Introduction of Masks
Throughout the novel of Maus, there is a constant reference to the theme of identity and masks.
The use of masks achieves a sense of deception in where your identity lies and creates a level of understanding.
On page 201 of Part 2 in the novel, Spiegelman is sitting at his desk, intently attempting to comprehend the heartache endured by his father during the holocaust.
As he continues to write his father's take on the holocaust with authenticity, Spiegelman puts on a mask. This mask enables him to view the world from the perspective of the Jews during the war.
On page 66 of Part 1 in Maus, Vladek is concealing his own identity to relate with the locals. This provides Vladek with temporary protection.
On page 203 of Part 2 in the novel, Art's psychiatrist is wearing a mask which symbolizes that he is a survivor of the holocaust and is attempting to take on the persona of a Jew once again.
Masks in Maus are used to conceal the identity of a character in order to create a different persona or to protect the character from danger. The masks build on Art Spiegelman idea of portraying different nationalities as animals in order to differentiate them from one another.
As Art is being interviewed aboutis upcoming book, all the characters are drawn with a mask representing their nationality. To build on Spiegelman's ongoing metaphor, the picture includes a german interviewer wearing the massk of a cat as he asks a question on behalf of all the germans.