Sunday, September 7, 2014

Question Commander

Maus by Art Spiegelman
Pages: 129-159
Week #3

1) Why do you think the author ended the book in such an open way? (By having Vladek's son just walk away.) 

I think that the author ended it that way because it left the reader with so many question. Throughout the first book, you get to know the main character and how he acts and how he thinks. He told his story to his son, with emotion, trying to make the reader step into a jew's shoes for just a while. But as the reader, we know that the character survived and is safe home, so there's no actual problem to be solved. Also, I think the author left it so open, by just closing a conversation with a simple "goodbye" because there's a second book. He had the characters "promote" the second book by just ending the book without an answer to everything that was mentioned.


2) Why is it a graphic novel? 

Overall, I think that throughout the book, it really helped me to have images. Sometimes I couldn't really picture what they were taking about, and having some illustrations to go with the situation made it very meaningful. Also, I'm more of a visual learner, and being able to "see"the situation made it more clear for me to enjoy the book. Also, there are many books about how the jews survived and how badly they were treated, but Maus, it's special, it stand out because of the drawings. I think it helps the reader, specially if it's young people, like us, reading the book. Anybody can write a 600 page long book about the Nazis, but not anybody can get a young audience to enjoy reading it.

3) Why would the author want to make himself/ his family mice? 

After finishing the book, this question was stuck in my head. If Vladek survived, why would he want to be an animals that's looked down at? After thinking of this for a while, it hit me. I think that what the author is trying to say with this book, is that anything is possible. The cats killed the mice, but not every single mouse, only the ones that let themselves be killed. I think this is like a hidden moral saying that if you really want something and you work for it, it can come true.


  1. Martina,

    I do agree with you in all the questions, especially the second one. On the first question I think it does leave a question in the readers' head, since the book ends with Artie saying 'murderer'. In a way, I thought the book made no sense by ending it like that, and by reading a small section of the second book, it starts at a totally different plot. The connection between the end of the first book and the beginning of the second book did not make sense, and I became confused.

    Cats are predators. It can be stereotypical to see cat chasing mice in real life, but in a way it is true. We see cats chasing mice on TV, just like dogs and cats. Cats are predators. Mice are victims. Is it always true? Not all 'cats' (or Nazis/Germans) are 'mean'. But in a somewhat way it does make the story more interesting and helps you see the characters more clearly, by knowing that Mice are Jews and Cats are Nazis. In real life you might not recognise that a person is Jew until you ask them, and Art changes that.

  2. I partially agree with you in the first question. I think that the author ended this book in an open way because the reader is already involved in this book, so the reader would want to read the second book. I think that this is mostly a strategy that the author had to make the readers buy the other book.
    In the second question, I'd say that the author made a graphic novel because some things and information that happened in the holocaust can't be fully absorbed by the reader only by the use of words. I really though that the images made the book more interesting.
    I think that the jews where represented as mice because cats(nazis) chase mice(jews) and when you look at the book you can easily identify who is a nazi and who is a jew

  3. Martina,

    I agree with you. I think that the author left the book at a cliff hanger. The book just ends very mysteriously, and sudden. This makes some readers want to read the second book because of their curiosity. This is a very common but a very powerful tool of writing. For your second question I agree that this book is on a very heavy topic, and it would be difficult to understand without any images. I believe that the author choose to display pictures for us to understand better what was going on. This will benefit the readers because if child is curious about the book or topic the images will be easier for the child to understand. For you third and last answer, I agree that the author drew mice and cats, and threw out the book you understand better ho is the mice and who is the cat.