Is the book’s structure chronological or does it move back and forth between past and present? Does the author use a single (first or third person) viewpoint or shifting points of view? Why might the author have chosen to tell the story this way and how does it influence the reader’s understanding?
The structure in the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman, is not chronological. The story switches between the protagonist, Art's life, and his father Vladek's Holocaust experience. For example, the book begins with Art asking his father to tell him his story so he can write it all down. Then, it switches to Vladek talking in first person to Art. It switches back and forth often, so the reader can also see what happens in Art's life in between each meeting he has with his father, and also his relationship with Vladek (and a little of Vladek's life, too.)
In this novel, it's harder to define which viewpoint the author uses (maybe because it's a graphic novel,) but as I mentioned before, during the majority of the story Vladek is talking to Art, which is in first person. In between their meetings, when Art is not with his father, there isn't really a narrator while everything is happening.
I think Art Spiegelman chose to write it like this because the reader sort of reads the novel as if it were a movie more than a book, which is a more interesting way to read. It influences the readers understanding because it's easier to know what's going on. For example, in a movie, you see everything happening and there is sometimes a narrator, and it is pretty easy to know what is going on. Sometimes in books, the narrator does not make everything clear and it's difficult to picture the story.
An image that shows Vladek's narration in the novel