Monday, February 9, 2015

Line Illuminator - Isa Farhat

Isabella Farhat
By Art Spiegelman
February 8, 2015
Week 1
Pages 5 - 71

This first week I have decided to start with the role of being the line illuminator. Maus is a very common book that many people have read before, and so have I. But, it has been a long time ago since I last read it so I loved starting it again. I always found it a very interesting book, using graphic details, mouse's as characters, it's all part of a plan. Anyways, let's begin with my two quotes that I have chosen from the pages that we read from the book. 

Quote #1: 
       (pg. 12)

"I was in textiles-buying and selling - I didn't make much, but always I could make a living."

There is a part in this quote which I highlighted in bold, because I think it gives a brief description of communism. As we learned in class, communism is when no one has any rights, but they earn basic needs. They don't need to follow any religion, and it is a dictatorship. This story is about Vladek, a Jewish survivor and his son, Artie. Artie is planning on writing/drawing a story on Vladek's life. Anyways, Vladek starts telling his story and this line comes up. It is stating that he never made enough to pay for what he had, but with the idea of communism he could always afford food, clothes, water, and basic needs. This is because of some of these people: Stalin, Marx, Lenin. 

Quote #2:
       (pg. 32)
"It was the beginning of 1938 - before the war - hanging high in the center of town, it was a Nazi flag.."

I chose this as my second quote because this is when the Jewish people realized that there was something coming for them. Also, the way the sentence if formed. They have the symbols of subtraction (-) stating that it was before the war. What I am saying is that they are clearly saying that this happened before the war, or may be the cause of the war. Adding on, at the end of the sentence the author adds the suspicion dots (..). These dots mean a lot when you are reading because it gives a feeling inside saying that something bad is going to happen.


  1. Isabella,

    I thought your post was extremely intriguing and it really got me hooked. I really liked the quotes you had, especially the first one and the connections you made to it such as to communism and such were extremely interested and really showed how much you payed attention in class when we were learning about communism. However, Germany at that time was not a communist country, it was a fascist one, so much as its leader (Adolf Hitler) was also fascist and there are more differences between communism and fascism, than there are similarities, like for example, with fascism, you can individually own an object, house, etc. Whereas in communism, the government owns it all.

    1. Hello Gabi,

      Thank you so much for replying to my post, I welcome your criticism like a piece of cake. I know that Germany wasn't a communism at that time, but when I saw the quote I made me think more of communism instead of fascism. The differences between fascism and communism are really different, for example, religion. Religion isn't accepted in communist countries, while fascism deals more with nationalism.
      However there are some similarities such as, democracy. Both fascism and communism are against the idea of the democratic process. The only difference is that they look down to different kinds of democracy, like fascist's are against the parliamentary democracy and the communist's look down on the policy of central democracy (democracy centralism).
      Anyways, again, thank you so much for replying to my post!

      Isa Farhat

  2. Isabella,

    I really liked that you had some kind of introduction saying that you have already read this book, and introducing what the book is about. What I thought was really about from your post, is that you related what we are learning with what we are reading. Therefore, I agree with Gabi. Germany wasn't a communism, like you said, yet is was fascism. What you could have said is: "I see how this quote relates to communism because... However, Germany wasn't a communism, and yes a fascism."

  3. Isabela,

    Your first quote about how Vladek didn't have much but he could make a living out of it was interesting. You commented on how you thought of it as Communism. That is an interesting idea but what I thought about when I read the quote was that it was about survival during WWII. In WWII as you know Jews were hunted down by Nazi's like mice. Which makes sense because Jews in the book were portrayed as mice because they were an easy target, and the Nazi's were much stronger then them. So most of the Jews had to leave their old life behind and make a new one to survive the war. An example is in Diary of Anne Frank. The Franks and the Van Daans had to leave their homes. Anne mentioned loving to ride her bicycle around the neighborhood, and having many friends at school. But then her whole life turned upside down when they were forced to flee from their homes into hiding. They had to make changes to their lifestyle to not get caught. Anne never caught a breath of fresh air for two years. They could not make a sound for most of the day. Their days turned into nights and their nights turned into days. Even their sleeping arrangements were different because it was the Franks, the Van Daans, and Dussel all in one small Attic. In Maus Vladek and his wife go from house to house, and they do not have room to make a comfortable lifestyle. All they need to do is to survive, and have even the smallest amount of food, water, and warmth to do so.

  4. Isa,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I found it very engaging and interesting. I also agree with the people before me, that Germany was not communist, but fascist. These two things are opposites. In fact, there are almost no similarities between these two different ideologies. Fascism was created to oppose communism. However, the rest of your post was extremely profound and I really took pleasure in reading it. I really like your second quote. I think that this quote is simply a premonition of Nazi domination. It serves as a type of warning to the readers, a warning of "be careful the Nazis are coming". Overall, I really liked your post.