Maus by Art Spiegelman
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.
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.