Maus was an amazing graphic novel. Doing a Holocaust story in that format really brings it into reality. At points I felt like weeping. Stories like this really bring to light the depths of human cruelty. I was considering that while reading it, how amazingly cruel humans are. We seem to be the only creature on earth that goes out of our way to torture our own kind.
I can’t fathom how Vladek was able to survive the hell that he went through. He had so much ingenuity and resourcefulness. I found it really interesting how real Vladek was portrayed. Art Spiegelman finds him so annoying in present day times. You would think that when doing a story like this one you would need to cast Vladek as a hero, as to honor him, but Spiegelman makes him so human and that really brings the whole book into reality for the reader.
I found it really interesting that Spiegelman choose to portray everyone as animal people. It serves as a nice way to identify what side everyone is on, while also giving them built in characteristics that we would associate with the animal. Having the Jewish people portrayed as mice and the Germans cats was obviously brilliant. All the animal choices are clever on so many levels.
I found it really depressing that Spiegelman’s mother committed suicide. To have lived through so much only to take your own like seems almost… I feel bad saying this, but, disgraceful. I mean I imagine life afterwards would be very hard to live with the memories, so I could see how she would want to. I was waiting through both books hoping that Spiegelman would eventually find her diaries so we could her her side of the story. I was convinced that book two would be from her perspective; I was sad when it never came. It’s a shame that her story will never be told, but I guess it is lost like so many other people who were in the holocaust.
This book will haunt me for weeks. It just puts in perspective how good I have it in life. It also reminds me how sick and terrible people can be, which makes me want to be the best person I can be to combat this. It was a comic that was definitely worth the read.