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Maus Discussion.docx

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Jennifer Mac Quarrie

Comic Books • First graphic novel to win Pulitzer prize (in the 90s) and really spurred an academic study of graphic novels. Before that comic books weren’t really studied • Sequential Art: art that is supposed to be read in certain sequence (as opposed to a painting of sculpture that is looked at as a whole) • The history sequential art dates back very far since cave drawings, Egyptian times, pre- Columbian picture manuscripts in Aztec and Mayan temples MAUS: • Do not confuse the author Art Spiegelman and character in the comic Artie Spiegelman, so it is not clear whether he is trying to fictionalize the story • Some elements of war story and love story • The tale of the holocaust cannot be sanitized, • At that time period, it was taboo to be talking about holocaust in comic book form, changing characters to animals, and for the author it was extremely taboo to be criticisizing his parents • Characters –Animals o Jews – Mice (Hitler: “ Jews are vermin that need to be exterminated like mice.”)  Hitler banned mickey mouse because he thought it was jewish art form o Nazi- Cats o Polish- Pigs o French – Frogs o Americans – Dogs o Gypsies – Moths o Bunnies - ? • What does using animals as characters do? o Distances you from the reality of the situation, makes you feel ‘safer’ since animal fables are for children o After a while you stop seeing them as animals Plot Summaries Ch. 1: • Arties starts telling his dad stories • Vladek meets lucia, later meets and gets engaged to Anja • Vladek Leaves Lucia for Anja • Lucia try to break apart Anja and Vladek by sending a letter • Anja and Vladek work things out • Intro to main characters and love story Ch2. • Anja has been translating communist messages, frames seamstress • Anja’s father gives money to vladek to start factory • They have child (Richeiu) • Anja becomes depressed post-partumThey go to sanitorium (on the way they see their first Nazi flag • After their stay at the sanitorium they come back to find their factory robbed, • Vladek joins army and gets drafted to go to war Ch3: • Goes to war, kills Nazi war, taken as POW • Goes to work camp • Has a dream that he is freed • Pretends to be a Polish person to get back home undetected • In present time Vladek throws out Arties coat Ch.4: • Artie comes to talk to dad while dad excercises • Dad relates story of after POW camp • They found out about the black market but that is the only way for Vladek to support family since Jewish business are shut down • Some mice are hugn when caught • Grandparents are taken away to concentration camp (where they die) • All jews are required to registered for camp, people that are not fit for work (mother and children, eldery) are separated Ch5: • Vladek finds the comic : prisoner on the hell planet, and is upset • Talks to artie about it • Vladek talks about 1943 and the move to sosnoviec • Anja informs vladek that Wolfe uncle Persis (who is offering safe place for children) o Wolfe tosha bibi lonia and richieu go with him o Later Tosha commtes suicide and kills the children too • Vladek explains their makeshift hidden bunker to hide from Nazis • Later found and arrested • Freed with help of cousing, but cousin cheats the in laws (anjas parents) which sperates them, parents later die • Vladek is caught by Nazi but is let go due to family name • Go into hiding • They pay vladek on when to advise them when to leave • Pg 125 : Swastika symbolism on the pathway shape • Vladek and Anja got out but have nowhere to go… Ch6: • Mala upset with Vladek • Artie inquries again about the lost Anja journals • Vladek and Artie continues story in 1944 • Anja and Vladek go to governesses in sosnoviec • Anja goes to their old house and their janitor helsp hide them • Vladek gets tippsed off about black market by jew in disguise • They seek shelter with Mrs. Motonowa, in farmhouse • Kawka goes with Vladek to meet smugglers • Goes with cousin of vladek too, who goes
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