Maus is an interesting read, this is the first time I have seen or read a book in comic strip form with such depth to it. The main character is the father, Vladek, and his son, Artie, who have a very strenuous relationship. Vladek is rather harsh with his son, as he blames him for many incidences that he actually caused to happen. The book recaps the life of Vladek and the hardship that him and his family endured and eventually survived during World War II at the hands of the Nazi’s. While the whole time Artie is taking notes so he can turn his father’s tale into a comic strip.
I believe the author, Art Spiegelman, is trying to tell the story of his father’s life and the horrific story that is World War II and the Holocaust. The fact that he portrays the characters as animals I believe is to be able to tell the story, but to do so in a manner that would not bring an emotional reaction to people that read it. With animal character instead of human ones, it desensitizes it in a way that allows for the story to be told and read. The choice of characters in the book with the Nazi’s being the cats and the mice being the Jew’s is cleaver. As cats hunt and kill mice, so did the Nazi’s hunt and kill the Jew’s. It was an awful time, which I believe the author was trying to portray. It was a fantastic read and cleverly written. I will say I enjoyed it!