Maus Essay

Submitted By MoMangahas1
Words: 867
Pages: 4

Mark Mangahas
5th Mrs. Strizzy - English

In the book Maus 1 and 2 by Art Spiegelman, is a book about a Jewish survivor from the Holocaust, Vladek Spiegelman. The author illustrated characters as cats, mouse, dogs, pigs and frogs. He shows how Jewish people were low priority/rank in that society, they were depicted as mice. While the Germans were depicted as cats which resembles how opposite they were and how the Germans were careless, brutal and superior. This book tells us how superiority and power can lead to destruction and manipulation. It shows how Art illustrated the Germans as a high priority and brutal humans (cats), and unlike the Jews, he illustrated them as a little powerless beings (rats.) The cat and mouse relationship is a metaphor for the relationship between the Nazis and Jews: the Nazis played with the Jews first or used them before they kill them. The Nazis took hold every aspect of their lives, controlling their movements, took their wealth and property, and doing violence against them.

In the both story, Maus 1 and 2, the author shows how position and power can conquer things and take control of people. During Hitler’s time the Germans were illustrated as cats, being the opposite of the Jews, which were mice. It shows total domination and position against the Jews. In the story of Vladek, the Germans dominated the country and took full control of the people, especially the Jews. It showed in the book how Germans hated and prosecuted the Jews so much; they even kill them out of nowhere or just by a simple mistake or they just decided to do so. Thin, pale and unhealthy Jews were moved into gas chambers in Auschwitz. Even also those who didn't have papers died and sent to gas chambers. (including Vladek's relatives and family). Poles were neutral in the story, they were illustrated as pigs. Art Spiegelman used pigs because pigs as the real animals don't do much. They can be helpful , but there were some poles who worked for the Germans and also there were some Jews too. There were some Poles that worked as guards for the Jews, and there were some Poles that were friends or relatives with Vladek. The Jews that worked for the Germans were still illustrated as mice like everybody else. This shows how all Jews are still the same even if they have position for power under the Germans, they will still end up dying in the hands of Germans, like what happened to the one officer that Vladek knew.

During the time of war, Vladek and his wife struggled to live for their lives under the German's control and the prosecutions. In Maus 1, there was a scene that they were in a storage of this Pole lady. The place was so dirty, dark and full of rats. It resembles the main trait of rats that hiding is their only position because they don't have that strength or power to fight. There was this time that they even need to hide their selves as a Jew and needed to be something else because Germans were everywhere and taking full control of every place. They used Pole as a camouflage race to their identity. Because Poles were neutral. But Anja wasn't able to do much camouflaging. Artie illustrated Anja