- 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?
Maus, A Survivor's Tale
The book Maus does not have a chronological structure but it transfers back between past and present. I believe the reason the author decided to do this was to demonstrate the reaction Artie had to his Father's story. There were so many horrifying things that his father shares that the reader also needs a time to take all the information in. This structure that Art Spiegelman chose for his book was very influential because the reader would reflect on how peaceful our world is today and actually compare the time periods, even thank God for not having passed through all that.
Since this survivor's tale travels from present to future, vice-versa, and it is a cartoon, the book is mostly told by first person when it comes to the Holocaust stories (by Vladek) but when it goes back to the present day life there is a different person narrating (Artie). On page 26 we can see the narration made by Artie: "For the next few months I went back to visit my father quite regularly, to hear his story." The difference between the two different types of narration is that Artie's is not inside the comic strips like Vladek's. Vladek's has to do with the sequence to the story, like wise: "And when I went upstairs ..." - 27
These two types of first person narrations are very different because the Holocaust experience is being told based on the memory of the survivor, therefore he is telling the story to his son. As for the present day part of the book, it is not a memory, it is happening currently and it has nothing in context to the story being told about the World War I & II.