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Maus by Art Spiegelman

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I am going to have to have another look at this book, because I did not notice the fish either. :lol:

 

Now if only I could bend down and reach the bottom shelf where I placed it. :lol: (need a stiff smilie with a walking stick)

 

Ah well maybe tomorrow:)

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With the animalisation.. did you notice that there weren't any British people, apart from at the very end, there seemed to be a token jeep with a British flag, and two fish driving :lol:

 

Y'know, I've read it at least three times and I've NEVER noticed the fish! :lol: Gah!

 

I'm sending my essay on Maus off to my (future) course tutor - she wants to read a couple of my final year essays :exc:

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I never saw the fish either! Goodness, will need to look again.

 

I sat and wrote all my answers to the questions that Amy posted, now I don't know whether to post them or not...:lol:

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I've had a go at answering the questions set earlier in the thread:

 

If this is your first time reading a graphic novel, how are you finding reading the format so far? Do you find it 'easier' or more difficult than reading a purely text-based book? What do you think of Art Spiegelman's style of writing and illustration?

I

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Hmm. Some interesting observations Kell.

I liked Mala. She gets a dedication at the front of the book, so I doubt she felt that bad about how she was portrayed. I had sympathy for her, as I can't imagine what it would be like not to go out and buy a hair brush if I need one. If she's living with that day in day out, money would become like the one most important goal in life. We only have Vladeks version. I think she just wanted a little money when she left, not the whole will. Vladek had a habit of seeing everything worse than it was.

 

I admired Vladek in many ways, but I am not sure I liked him, even allowing for his experiences and difference of a generation. But he certainly suffered and survived...a great feat!

 

Pp

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I admired Vladek in many ways, but I am not sure I liked him, even allowing for his experiences and difference of a generation. But he certainly suffered and survived...a great feat!

 

I think it's also interesting that Spiegelman appears to portray 'himself'/Artie in a similar manner to Vladek, in that there are times when he isn't particularly likeable. One of the most powerful scenes in Maus, I feel, is the moment when

Artie bellows "MURDERER!!!" at his father, for burning his mother's diaries. Although Artie's strength of feeling (upset, grief) is understandable, it's a particularly horrible accusation in the context of narrative about mass genoicide.

 

 

I think Vladek's mean streak is further complicated by the 'allowances' Artie (and, as a consequence, the reader) make on the trauma he has gone through. Yet Artie, and we as readers, are frequently infuriated by his behaviour - particularly when it contradicts what he has experienced:

such as the moment when he is blatantly racist towards an Afro-American man. That really was shocking, considering it really happened!

 

 

I think Maus is an especially important novel, in terms of addressing the awkward situation of the generation of children who were born to survivor parents.

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...hey...it's still February you know, we still have things to discuss!! (not that I've been on this thread either!).

 

- where are you answers Paula, you said they were great! It's good to have other perspectives on the book, there are no right and wrongs! :) Be bold and stick em up for us all to see! :smile2: xx

 

Amy, the scene you were speaking about above, where Vladek was racist himself was awful to read. I'm amazed that he hadn't thought about things and learnt some compassion.

 

...it seems I'm too tired!! Bah!! Will write more tomorrow :D

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Hello everyone:D

 

This is not my first time reading a graphic novel but I would not say I was a experienced graphic novel reader. I found it easy and difficult to read because I like to visualise characters, story, theme, etc.

 

I really liked Art Spiegelman's style of writing, it portrayed the characters personalities well, showed a good insight, especially Art's mother, Anja, her state of mind specifically.

 

The illustration was quite harsh, very dark, but it works well, it was a dark time. I especially like the part with Art going to see Pavel, his psychiatrist (who also survived Auschwitz) who takes in stray animals, in one picture, you see Art sitting with a framed photograph of a cat beside him, it says beside it, 'framed photo of pet cat, really!', it highlighted a lot of things for me, Pavel taking in stray animals seem poignant to the story, another reminder of the war for Pavel, maybe the strays represented all the lost souls from that time that could not be helped.

 

I did not see the animalisation as controversial but I can see why it was, no one of any race wants to be shown in a negative way, I think in some way the animalisation of humans was the author's way of dehumanising the situation.

 

I liked the character of Vladek, as young man and old man (slightly irritating granted), but you understood why he acts the way he does, he lost everything, his first born son, his businesses, then eventually his wife. I felt that he wanted to protect Art but the same time he was pushing Art away. I was also quite surprised that he was racist but at the same time I was thinking, would he automatically change his views because of his experience in the camp, does surviving something like that make you a better person? or a different person? had Vladek always been this way?

 

I have only read a few holocaust books, 'Auschwitz, the final solution' was a factual book but was very cleverly written, you got to hear from various people which made interesting reading. I read 'The Diary of Anne Frank' when I was 14, and I could not believe that it had really happened to Anne and her family, I was naive to believe then that people were not capable of such things, but as you get older, you realise you are so wrong. As you know I read 'The Boy in Striped Pyjamas' which I felt was brilliant, I wish I could describe it better but out of the holocaust books I have read, 'Maus' is the best, Art Spiegelman takes his father's experiences and uses them in a simplistic way to tell his father's story and his own story.

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Hey Paula! I now know why it took you so long to post these - they're brilliant!

 

I was also quite surprised that he was racist but at the same time I was thinking, would he automatically change his views because of his experience in the camp, does surviving something like that make you a better person? or a different person? had Vladek always been this way?

 

I think that's one of the things that makes Maus such an important and strong Holocaust narrative - because it shows that although the victims of it were 'innocent' (they did nothing wrong to warrant such appalling consequences), it didn't necessarily mean that they were all 'morally pure' people, because no-one is. It actually shows the humanity of the people caught up in the situation, e.g. that they could also be prejudiced whilst being prejudiced against.

 

It is interesting that Vladek doesn't seemed to have learned from his own experiences tho'!

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Hey Paula! I now know why it took you so long to post these - they're brilliant!

 

 

 

I think that's one of the things that makes Maus such an important and strong Holocaust narrative - because it shows that although the victims of it were 'innocent' (they did nothing wrong to warrant such appalling consequences), it didn't necessarily mean that they were all 'morally pure' people, because no-one is. It actually shows the humanity of the people caught up in the situation, e.g. that they could also be prejudiced whilst being prejudiced against.

 

It is interesting that Vladek doesn't seemed to have learned from his own experiences tho'!

 

It is interesting about Vladek, I think he is very much set in his ways and he has kept what he felt was relevant from his experiences (how he is with money, etc), then you hear him talking about the coloured man and you are really appalled, but maybe for Vladek this is acceptable because he suffered this as well.

 

And thanks Amy, they are not brilliant answers, I just thought about them - alot :)

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LOL. I don't think I have as much sympathy for Vladek as you do Paula, as far as his behaviour towards the black man. If that had happened shortly after the war, it would have been understandable, but it happened many many years later, when you think he would have had time to reflect. It always amazes me that many people do not have self awareness and hence do not learn from their experiences. Humanity as a whole has an innate abilty to ignore experience and continue making the same mistakes. Very sad.

I enjoyed the bit his his therapist too, but I am not as observant as you! I didn't notice the description of the cat picture. I will have to return to that bit. I think you may be right about the lost souls though.

 

Pp

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LOL. I don't think I have as much sympathy for Vladek as you do Paula, as far as his behaviour towards the black man. If that had happened shortly after the war, it would have been understandable, but it happened many many years later, when you think he would have had time to reflect. It always amazes me that many people do not have self awareness and hence do not learn from their experiences. Humanity as a whole has an innate abilty to ignore experience and continue making the same mistakes. Very sad.

I enjoyed the bit his his therapist too, but I am not as observant as you! I didn't notice the description of the cat picture. I will have to return to that bit. I think you may be right about the lost souls though.

 

Pp

 

Great post PP, I understand what you mean about Vladek, I always try to see the best in everyone, which is a flaw, thinking about it, you are right, his reaction after so many years was unacceptable, considering he was living in a country where a large majority of the population are multi-racial (I hope that is the right word), you think he would have learned from past mistakes.

:)

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Paula said

I always try to see the best in everyone, which is a flaw,

 

And that my dear, is why we love you! And I would agree with you. I try too, but sometimes peope don't learn, or refuse to acknowledge, or simply refuse to change. I guess thats what makes us human. It's just a pity that there aren't more people like you!:)

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Paula said

 

And that my dear, is why we love you! And I would agree with you. I try too, but sometimes peope don't learn, or refuse to acknowledge, or simply refuse to change. I guess thats what makes us human. It's just a pity that there aren't more people like you!:)

 

Thanks PP, you too.

 

I often find it frustrating that some people can't change or won't change, I know what I am like myself, I learn from my mistakes, but I have to do them first to learn from them, I think there is a lesson in 'Maus', its all about human nature and what humans can do to each other because they choose to do it. 'Maus' is a book all about choice, the choice to help other people, the choice to learn from mistakes.

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Paula said,

think there is a lesson in 'Maus', its all about human nature and what humans can do to each other because they choose to do it. 'Maus' is a book all about choice, the choice to help other people, the choice to learn from mistakes.

 

I agree.

 

What terrifies me though is how that choice is erased by a simple process of brainwashing. I mean, that can happen anywhere if people don't guard against it.

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Paula said,

 

 

I agree.

 

What terrifies me though is how that choice is erased by a simple process of brainwashing. I mean, that can happen anywhere if people don't guard against it.

 

Of course and it worries me, I am very much a big believer in free thought but if you are part of a dynamic, you can be dragged in. It is ok for me to say now in this day and age, I would not have put up with it, but I don't know how I would react, it is the same sort of arguement as 'if you are walking down the street and you see someone get beaten up, would you intervene?', I probably would but back then, maybe not, it was all about survival and I think doing the right thing was a luxury, that not a lot of people had.

 

Sorry, I am rambling x

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No. I agree! That's exactly it. All about surviving. And in a way, how can we possibly judge others when we have not been in that situation ourselves. Which, perhaps, now I think about it, is why some people are quick to judge and the world never learns by her mistakes!

Very philosophical thread this!:)

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No. I agree! That's exactly it. All about surviving. And in a way, how can we possibly judge others when we have not been in that situation ourselves. Which, perhaps, now I think about it, is why some people are quick to judge and the world never learns by her mistakes!

Very philosophical thread this!:)

 

I find it easier not to judge than to judge, but I still do it, I think the world would be a better place if people learned from their mistakes, I hear the term 'we should never let holocaust happen again' and I think, but it has happened, not to the extreme of the holocaust, when you think about the amount of genocide which is happening, it is scary. I am naive to believe that the world would be a better place if we all just get along, but there is always hope.

 

I think 'Maus' in a small way does project hope, hope for Art, that he learns from his father.

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I feel like I should have a beard so I can stroke it in a philosophical thoughtful manner :)

 

I agree that Maus does project hope - it's a recurrent theme throughout: Hope that your loved ones have survived somehow, both through the Holocaust and by leaving their diaries. And even if that hope is destroyed, then Maus shows people just bearing and surviving it.

 

I also appreciate the way it shows how difficult it could/can be for children of survivors, and how, ultimately, they have the responsibility (and, occasionally, burden) of maintaining their parents' legacy. It's a huge responsibility!

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I feel like I should have a beard so I can stroke it in a philosophical thoughtful manner :)

 

I agree that Maus does project hope - it's a recurrent theme throughout: Hope that your loved ones have survived somehow, both through the Holocaust and by leaving their diaries. And even if that hope is destroyed, then Maus shows people just bearing and surviving it.

 

I also appreciate the way it shows how difficult it could/can be for children of survivors, and how, ultimately, they have the responsibility (and, occasionally, burden) of maintaining their parents' legacy. It's a huge responsibility!

 

I could just see you there Amy...

 

It is a huge responsibility, imagining living like that, this is a different subject entirely, but my granda's family survivied the Irish famine, and the legacy they left went right through the family, and it was a good one, looking after each other x

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I have just read this and what i thought was very sad was thinking of the poor jews who did not have anything to bribe or to buy anything with.

 

I also did not like Vladek at all i am sorry but i agreed with what artie said

 

 

about him being a steroetype of the money grabbing jew Even during the war when they family were upset as they could not have grand meals. All i could think about the other poorer jews who were either dying or starving

 

 

I did enjoy this book but it another one of thewar books and films which is YEs the Americans saved the world

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I bought maus a few months back and finally got round to reading it this week, i have read a few books on this topic but seeing it drawn out in panels made it that bit more 'real'. I have been a long time comic reader so to me its easy to read although the content is not so much easy to read. I think this is a book that will leave a lasting impression on me and probably all who read it. And yes i did get a few odd/accusing looks while reading this at college. :lol:

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