Saturday, October 18, 2014

Historical Context – Daniel Choe

Book: "Maus"

Author: Art Spiegelman

Pages: 72 - 127

Rotation #2

Historical Context

Student: Daniel Choe

How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel?  What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?

To begin with, the story of the book "Maus" is of a Jewish mouse which went to a town where Nazis were killing Jews. Furthermore, the main character is trying to escape from the cats, which are the Nazis, to survive.

The book has multiple events, which are similar to the events that happened to Spiegelman himself. To start with, in 1948, the author was born in Sweden. Three years later, his family decided to immigrate to the United States, where he started becoming interested on comics. Later, he entered a college of art and design. Furthermore, after Spiegelman left college in 1968, he had a problem which led him to be hospitalized for a month. Adding on, after his release from the hospital, he discovered that his mother had committed suicide. (Funk and Wagnalls) This historical event influenced Spiegelman, since he wrote about this in his book, "Maus." On page 100 of the book, the main character's son writes a comic, which in coincidence is about his mother's suicide. The comic starts when a person states that his mother committed suicide in 1968, without leaving a note or any "good bye" letter. Continuing, the comic shows a scene of a doctor telling the person that the mother really committed suicide. This shows that the historical event of Spiegelman's mother suicide influenced him to write the book since he incorporated this fact in his own book.

<Image of a coffin>

Now, a cultural event that may have influenced the author write the book is his job. As stated before, Spiegelman, since little, loved comics. Furthermore, this lead him to study about design and arts, due to his passion of comics. (Funk and Wagnalls) This love of comics influenced Spiegelman write the book since "Maus" is a comic book. Continuing, if the author's passion and job is writing comics, then the book was most likely materialized because making comics is his job. To enhance information, clarification is needed. The definition for the words "Comic book" actually mean "a magazine that has one or more comic strips". ( Furthermore, the definition of a "comic strip" is a drawing containing a story, which most of the times has dialogue written on balloons. ( If this is the meaning of a comic book, then his job of drawing and writing comics clearly influenced him on writing the book since he knows what skills he has to use to make the book "Maus," and because comics was his hobby since little.

<Image of a pen>

Works cited:

"Spiegelman, Art." Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia 
     (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 18 Oct. 
"comic book." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 18 Oct. 2014. 
     <Dictionary.com book>. 
"comic strip." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 18 Oct. 2014. 
     <Dictionary.com strip>. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you in your post, the main reason why this story was made, it was based on the influence of the conflict between the Nazis and Jews that occured in this age at Poland. I think that the reason why he wrote his book, it was to show the adventures his father had during this time, and how it affected him. Also he was mostly writing about his father, and sharing his legacy with the world so that people can see what his father suffered and how he worked hard to maintain himself alive, and how it was very hard to live back then, with all the losses and all the bad things happening.