Discussion board #12: maus | Freshman Comp II | Valencia College

 

After reading the selections from MAUS, answer the following questions. Remember to use complete sentences and be as specific as possible!

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1. There is something hidden in the shadows second page’s (14) fifth panel. What is it? Why might this be significant?

2. What kinds of recurring animals do you see in the selections? What could these animals be symbolic of? Why does Spiegelman use animals instead of humans?

3. Think about Tom and Jerry or Itchy and Scratchy. How does the portrayal of cats and mice in those cartoons compare to those in Maus? Do you think this, and the cartoon format in general, is an effective way of dealing with the subject matter? Why or why not?

4. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud argues that a face drawn with great detail can represent only one specific person, but that a face drawn with few details—a smiley face, for instance—could be almost anyone. Describe the faces in Maus. Are they iconic (could be anyone) or particular (could only be Vladek)?

cartoon scale

5. On pages 184-185, Spiegelman shows an exchange of dialogue between him and his father. What do you make of the attitude between Vladek and Artie? Does this disrupt the narrative? Why or why not?

6. How do these pictures of Auschwitz (particularly looking at the full frame picture of its entrance) differ from the illustration in the rest of the book?

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