Monday, October 12, 2009

Discussion Questions

As we know in Maus I & Maus II, Art Spiegelmen depicts people as anthropomorphic animals: the mice are Jews, the cats are German, the pigs are Poles, the dogs are American, etc. In class, Dr. Hancock briefly went over this while going through the Maus CD-ROM. So, to clarify, what is the significance of Spiegelman's choice to use a different type of animal for each race and how does it impact the story of Spiegelman and his father? Vladek's personality was significantly affected by the Holocaust and his experiences. Because of the incidents Vladek went through, his personality also changed dramatically. Examples of this are shown throughout the book such as when Art visits Vladek, yet Vladek is very reluctant to talk about his past with anyone. He seems to be quite afraid that he will relive the pain from WWII, and therefore getting close to anyone. Due to the emphasis on Vladek's experiences, Maus greatly focuses on Jewish people, but generally avoids issues of religion. To what extent do the major characters portray their religious views? What role does religion play in their lives?

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