Reading Maus by Art Spiegelman was a really fun experience! Not always do we find a comic book about a personal experience during the Holocaust and a book that uses animals as characters. The comic book is an example of cross- discursive: a concept described in “Graphic Narrative” written by Hillary Chute and Marianne DeKoven. Maus is cross discursive because “it is composed of verbal and visual narratives that do not simply blend together, creating a unified whole, but rather remain distinct.” In my opinion such concept is beneficial in many ways. Having an image that supports the text gives more meaning and clarity to what you are reading. Maus is a great example of how cross- discursive can benefit the reader. In the book, Spiegelman’s dad narrates his personal experience during the holocaust to his son. With the help of pictures that describe each scene Vladek recounts, the reader is able to have an idea of what really is going on. Through the use of different animals, the author depicts different human races: Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. Not only do the pictures help differentiate the characters but they also give the story a different meaning. Though the Holocaust is one of the worse events in the history of the world, the author does a great job creating a not so melancholic mood. Utilizing the animals as characters lessen the depressing and stressful mood that is created through author’s family experiences during the Holocaust. I really also like the way Spiegelman writes the book in present tense, and it is only through occasional interviews with his dad that the author obtains information about the Holocaust. This writing style helps the reader to not only focus on the unfortunate events told by his father.
I believe the comic book Maus is a great example that a good writer has the capability to inform his/her audience about unfortunate event through a more enjoyable medium.