Monday, October 20, 2014

First draft

  1. How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel?  What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?
The historical events of the holocaust and WW2 highly influence the ideas of this novel. Hitler once said that he did not believe jews were people. In the novel Jews are represented as rats, or mice. The Nazi's are cats, essentiallly saying that cats kill mice, like the nazis killed the jews. The holocaust influenced the author, since without this great tragedy happening, the Author would have never written this book, as there would make no sense to it and there would not be a story line because it never happened. This story is based on both fact and fiction. First of all, (and most obvious) are the people put as rats, or mice. The fact, though is that the places and happenings were real, and the different animals were made to represent the difference between Jews and the Germans. Maus tells us a very realistic story, in the body of a fiction story. Since Maus is also a very great comic, the way of telling the story might have been because of the influence of the time that they were living in. In 1991, (when the book was written) a comic book style was popular style. In this time, books were written such as:

Harbinger Spawn Superman #75 X-Men Marvels Magnus Robot Fighter and etc.(


  1. Lucas,
    Maus was published in 1991 (it won the Pulitzer prize in 1992), and it tells the story of Art Spiegelman's father as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. I believe that WWII was the most sensitive topic for Art Spiegelman while he wrote his book. The Holocaust and World War II are very delicate subjects for anyone and greatly impacted the lives of millions. Vladek Spiegelman (Art's father), is the main character in the story, and his life was forever changed by the war. Of course, interviewing his father and sharing very personal memories with the world must have been challenging for Art, as it would be for anyone. Poland was one of the first and one of the hardest hit countries by World War II. Over six million innocent civilians were killed by Hitler's army. Hitler's invasion into Poland only lasted 26 brutal days in which the German army slaughtered and terrorized the population with their blitzkrieg strategies.

    The characters may not be drawn as people, but the author still made them seem realistic (since they did exist), while not creating a very personal atmosphere that could generate discomfort in the audience. By also representing humans with innocent wildlife, a lot of WWII's gruesome details appear to be softened, making the book easier to read and lighter. I have also found that, when reading, you do not even notice that the characters are mice, cats or pigs. They take on human qualities while still remaining physically anonymous, which was the author's intent (since he had to protect people's privacy in the novel).

  2. Lucas,
    I like how talked about the animal transformations. We can't forget that there were people in this time the book just doesn't express to much on them. As the people important to this graphic novel are those portrayed as cats, pigs, mice ect. There is one image that show a mouse's profile where it is a human wearing what appears to be a mouse mask. This image told me that Art Spiegelman's intentions with the book was to not only to educate todays youth about the past, but in a strange way make something that seems to be a living nightmare a little bit more light hearted. Thank you for boosting my thinking,
    Julianna Mello

  3. Lucas,
    I like how you mentioned that when Maus was written comic books were a popular style of reading. Do you think that this may have been the reason Spiegelman decided to go into the comic industry? He may of had this idea to write Maus because of the growing of comic books and the amount of people that were reading them. He could have had the idea of showing people the horrors of the Holocaust and how it really affected not only the Jewish, but the worlds population as a whole. This could have been a good way to explain to the world what humans are capable of using something as simple as a comic book.