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Maus: Literary Terms

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Danielle Dean

on 13 May 2015

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Transcript of Maus: Literary Terms

Maus is about a very grave topic, so despite its comic-style, it's a very serious and depressing mood. Even in the present parts of the book were grim, due to the themes of the novel.
So ironically, Vladek was a racist. He didn't want to pick up a black hitchhiker, then called him a racial epithet. He is someone who was persecuted for his race, only to persecute others for the same reason.
The book is drawn as a comic, so the imagery is seen and not written. The most obvious instance is its allegorical use of animals to represent different races and nationalities: Jews as mice, Nazis as cats, and non-Jew Poles as pigs.
The subplot is concerning the relationship between Art and Vladek, and the effects that the holocaust had on the both of them.
Vladek: “I came to one of the 4 cremo buildings. It looks so like a big bakery” (Speigelman, volume II page 70).
An example of forshadowing is in the beginning of Maus I, when the Vladek and Anja see the Nazi flag in the streets in 1938, (before the war). They found out what was happening in Germany with the Jews, and were frightened, but didn't know all that was happening.
Maus Literary Terms
"[about Auschwitz] To such a place finished my father, my sisters, my brothers, so many..." (Speigelman, volume II, 71)
Like the mood of the books, the tone that Art Speigelman illustrates is very somber and anguished. He is also very reflective on his father's and his own past.
Maus is an autobiography and a biography, because it tells not only Vladek's story, but the narrative goes from the past to present throughout the novel.
Art: “I know this is insane, but I somehow wish I had been in Auschwitz with my parents so I could really know what they lived through! . . . I guess it’s some kind of guilt about having had an easier life than they did. Sigh. I feel so inadequate trying to reconstruct a reality that was worse than my darkest
dreams.”(Speigelman, 16)
Mandelbaum: “Vladek!? You look like a … a general (Speigelman, volume II page 34).
Vladek: “To me they never hit because I worked all my muscles away (Speigelman, volume II page 67).
Art: "A couple of Vladek’s friends, the Karps, just hijacked me" (Speigelman, volume II page 22).
Works Cited
Assonance and Consonance can be found mainly in prose and poetry, so I didn't find any examples in Maus due to it being a graphic novel.
Vladek's entire story is told in flashbacks.
"Gypsies" (or Roma)=gypsy moths
Like the metaphors, the main personifaictation is in the portrayal of all the characters as some type of animal.
The humor is Maus is scare and very dark.
"But cousin Pesach was really selling cake! Every what could afford it stood in line to buy a piece...but, the whole ghetto, we were so sick you can't imagine...Some of the flour Pesach found-it wasn't really flour, only laundry soap, what he put in the cake by mistake." (Speigelman, volume I page 119)

"Maus: A Survivor's Tale." Prezi.com. Web. 13 May 2015.

"Reviewing Literary Elements in Maus by Art Spiegelman and Preparing for the Test on Both Graphic Novels." Web. 13 May 2015.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Maus: A Survivor's Tale Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 May 2015.

"Symbolism in Maus - Mr. Brunken's Maus Unit." Symbolism in Maus - Mr. Brunken's Maus Unit. Web. 13 May 2015.

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