The Impact of a Graphic Novel
Maus, written by Art Spiegelman, is a graphic novel that tells a story within a story. The book portrays Art’s father’s experiences as a Jew caught in the middle of World War II. What makes this portrayal especially interesting is the way the Art tells the story in his father’s own words. Vladek’s accounts of what happened to him are displayed within the bigger picture of the novel, which is how these experiences affect his current relationship with his son Art. Maus is significantly different from any other holocaust book I have ever read and I believe it stands out particularly because it is a graphic novel. Personally, I feel that this genre of writing is fascinating and that Maus would not be as effective a piece of literature if the author had not chosen to write it as a graphic novel. Some critics would argue that Art’s comic book style is juvenile and the lack of written text demeans the severity of the subject, however I completely disagree. His choice to visually tell his father’s story through illustrations, portray the characters as animals, and use of language throughout the text is what makes this story jump off the page. Because of these decisions, Maus does a great job of speaking the unspeakable.
Maus is presented to its readers in a very interesting way. Its comic book form is not only more appealing to its readers, it enables the author to make his work that much more detailed and convey ideas more effectively. The pictures force the reader to subconsciously engage more with the text. Art creates particular images, which enable the audience to empathize more with characters because we can better visualize what they are going through. Another advantage to using this comic book form is the ability for the author to leave clues within his illustrations. This allows the novel to be interpreted on many different levels. For instance, just because two individuals are given the same text to read and analyze does not...
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