I have actually read Maus I and II before Graphic Novels. Maus I was a requirement for class but I was so intrigued by its capability of illustration that I had to read Maus II. I have always admired the novel itself but there has always been one thing that has irritated me. This irritation being the racial comment that Vladek makes (Ch. 3, pg. 93) once the hitchhiker is out of Artie’s car. I would think that a man that has experienced racism and segregation to its highest extent (the Jews and the Holocaust) would understand the struggles that minorities such as the African-American community would go through every day. This brings me to my first question, what type of nerve must someone, who has witnessed and experienced genocide, have to allow them to inflect the same racism and segregation that they have once experienced? Shouldn’t these people learn from what they have seen and not turn their backs from it?
Another situation that has always confused me was the scene in which Arty and his wife, Francoise, speak on the issue of conversion (Ch. 1, pg. 11). Arty debates on whether or not he should draw his wife as a mouse in his novel. She states that she has converted and therefore has the right to be seen as a Jew. So my question is, because one was not raised in a specific matter would this prevent them from being see differently from others even though they have completely changed into a new person? So in this situation, does Francoise truly have the right to be considered a Jew and therefore allowed to be depicted as a mouse in Art’s novel? A little side question. Who do you think pressured Francoise into converting to Judaism? Was it her own choice, was it Arty, or could it have been that Vladek would not give his blessing to the couple unless Francoise converted to Judaism?