Monday, October 12, 2009

Maus I/II - Discussion Questions

First off, I would like to ask whether or not any of you saw or thought there was any differences between the two parts of Maus, both artistically and narratively. In my own personal opinion, the second part of Maus has a much darker feeling to it, in both aspects, as it shows Art's personal struggles with the completion of the book as well as Vladek's struggles through Auschwitz. Why do you think Speigelman decided to change the overall tone of the book, what were his reasons behind it?

My second question has to do with the second part of Maus in particular. In the second chapter of the book, we, as the readers, are introduced to Art's near-psychological breakdown after the highly attributed success of Maus I. The first page of Chapter 2 shows Art having his various flashbacks and remembering the different dates that had been troubling him, such as the deaths of his mother and father, the gassing of the Jews at Auschwitz, and Maus I's publication. Later in the chapter Art shows himself diminished to the stature of a mere child as he goes to speak with his psychologist. Why do you think Speigelman included this episode in his book, showing his difficulties with his life after he finished the first part, what purpose does it give to the story of Vladek and his trials through Auschwitz and his relationship with his son in the later years of his life? Why do you think that the death of his father in 1982 was not revealed to us until now?

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