How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel? What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?
To begin with, as we all know, this book is based on word war II in Poland. Maus was published in 1991 and it tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, the author's father, surviving the war and holocaust as a polish jew. Art would go to his fathers house and both record and write what Vladek told him. He would ask questions if he was confused and ask for artifacts that told more about that time, like his mother's diary.
The world war II and the holocaust was hard for everyone, but for the jews it was a nightmare. "The other prisoners get two meals a day. We jews get only a crust of bread and a little soup." (page 53) Vladek would complain numerous of times that it was unfair how the jews were treated, but that was how things were in that time and he had to deal with it. People were killed for both being innocent and guilty. Six million jew were murdered and tortured by the Nazis (Wikipedia). The book was inspired in this horrible and terrifying historical event because it reports all the happenings in the jewish communities from the start until the end with Vladek's lens. If this historical event didn't exist, Art wouldn't be able to tell his father's experiences because it wouldn't teach neither tell something interesting. What is interesting about this book is the intriguing stories that Art reports from his dad that shows us how thing were at that time, as I mentioned before. Yes, we learned it was violent, unfair, I already said that too, but also how families were very united at one point tried impressed me because they would fight together trough the pain. On page 91, Vladek sneaked to the bad side, the side where people didn't get their passports stamped, to stay with his sister because she couldn't take care of all her children alone. However, later is was everyone for themselves because nobody wanted to die. So, they wouldn't help each other for free. For Vladek to get help from his cousins, he needed to pay them with jewelry.