Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ariana Lizarraga- Maus Question Commander

1) Why do you think the author of the book decided to represent Jews as mice?

 I think that the author uses mice to represent Jews because it showed what Hitler thought of them, that they were dirty, unwanted, and that they were not human. To back me up, on one of the first pages there is a quote that Hitler once said "The Jews are undoubtedly a race. But they are not human."Jews are represented by mice because they are seen as pests and should be exterminated. That is exactly what the Nazis were trying to do at that time. And Hitler managed to convince his followers that getting rid of them was the best thing for every one by using propaganda, and powerful speeches.

2) Why did the author/illustrator decide to tell the story in the form of a comic book?

I think that Art Spiegelman wrote the book in the form of a comic book because sense it is a strong and at times confusing topic to read about, it makes it easier for the reader to actually understand and follow the story, because illustrations help imagine what is happening in a fun and easier way. 

3) Why did the author decide to represent the Poles as the Pigs?

I think he decided to represent the Poles as pigs because, they were not a a threat to the Jews or to the Germans , they were just kind of on the side. I also think it is interesting because Jew do not think highly of pigs, but for the Germans it is a big part of their diet, so it is quite an interesting point of view. 


  1. Ariana,

    I think you are right thinking that the germans were treated as pests, and nonhumans. It was as if they did not have a voice, and were small, and treated like mice. Something you could add to your post is that the jews were drawn as mice because the germans were cats, and so, like many cartoons, the mouse is hunted by the cat. I think that this metaphor inspired the author in the making of the book.
    Your post is good, although you could have made the font the same color throughout the whole post. Also, you could make the formatting better, like adding the pictures directly to the text. Otherwise, it's good.

  2. Ariana,
    Pigs are also one of the top ten smartest animals in the world. Meaning the Poles were smart and didn't want to get involved which at this point they haven't. Cats are smart but at the same time very devious, they always have a plan. As for mice they can be clueless although extremely fast. When reading these trates you can begin to see the pattern on what kinds of people are put together with what kinds of animals. Thank you for boosting my thinking.

  3. I believe that the reason Jewish characters are represented by mice, Nazis as cats and ethnic Poles as pigs is because it is a metaphor for how cats hunt mice, while pigs are just standing by and watching. Upon some further research on your question, I came across the fact that the Jews are mice because Spiegelman took advantage of Nazi propaganda films that depicted Jews as vermin or rodents. The idea of making the characters into other life forms that inhabit the planet could be to protect privacy and make certain characters anonymous in the novel. To me, this lets the reader imagine the people all on his own, while still showing the racism going on at the time by classifying different religious and ethnic groups into distinct categories (predator, prey, etc.). The idea behind Maus being a graphic novel, could also be to strengthen this metaphor used by Spiegelman and also create a more vivid image of the author's experiences and his father's experiences. When reading a regular novel, one's imagination takes the reigns and directs the image that the reader "sees". On the other hand, a graphic novel is a guiding co-pilot that "shows the way" to the reader.