Maus And Night: Literary Analysis

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The Holocaust is the most atrocious event in human history and is taught to high school students all over the world. Over the years, countless authors have written works in what is now known as the Holocaust genre; of these books, high school teachers have to decide which one is best suited for teaching their students about the Holocaust. Between Artie Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus and Elie Wiesel's autobiographical novel Night, Maus is better at teaching high school students about the Holocaust than Night. Spiegelman's Maus is better due to how it is able to show what desperate measures the Jews would go to in order to not be brought away by the Nazis, its depiction of how the Holocaust affects survivors, and how it is able to show the horrid …show more content…
In Maus, right after being abandoned by his friends, Artie's father gives him a personal anecdote: "Your friends?...If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week... then you could see what it is, friends..." (Spiegelman 6) When first introduced to Vladek, we see him tell his young son, Artie, an anecdote about friends. Our first impression of him is that of a grumpy old man with a pessimistic view of friends, however, this impression is quickly washed away after readers start learning of Vladek's past. Throughout the story (through both flashbacks and second-hand accounts) we see that before the Holocaust, Vladek was a handsome young man who is a polar opposite if his current day self. Due to this dramatic shift in personality from pre to post-Holocaust, the reader can infer that Vladek's new views on life were an effect of the Holocaust. This would show high school students the dramatic change survivors would have to experience after being subjected to one of the worst atrocities in human history. Not only does Maus show how survivors changed due to the Holocaust, but also shows how their children have been affected. For example, after Mala leaves Vladek, Artie and Fran├žoise drive to Vladek's house to take care of him. Along the way, Artie has a long and eye-opening conversation with his wife about how the Holocaust has affected him, a child of a survivor. When Artie opens up, we get a glimpse into the struggles of being the child of a Holocaust survivor. The reader learns that a) he had a sibling rivalry with his dead brother Richieu, b) he has had nightmares involving Nazis, even though he's never seen them, c) he felt guilty, and in some ways inadequate, by not being a part of the Holocaust. All these feelings and ideas are