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The text that my group chose was Maus by Art Spiegelman, which is a graphic novel about the experiences that the author’s parents lived through and after the war and Holocaust during World War II. Art Spiegelman interviews his father Vladek and gets his experience and own perspective of being part of the war and living through it and The Holocaust. Art being an influential player in the world of graphic arts and underground comics, created a graphic novel of these life experiences and memories with Jews being mice, Germans being cats, and Polish and other nationalities being pigs or other animals. I believe that this text would fit into this course because this piece of text is from a different period and challenges your critical thinking by seeing the story through the perspective of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust and how they first hand experienced World War II and the aftermath that came with war, affecting generations to come.

A few themes in the book that Spiegelman shows that relate to many of the books we have read in this course are family, morality, the impact of war, and the relationship between the author and his father. Family is the most important theme in this text because no matter what the situation is or the circumstances the characters are in, they always try to stick together as much as they can before they are eventually separated. We see morality throughout the story by seeing neighbors and friends turn their backs on the helpless or the ones in need because of either fear of death by the Gestapo or either will help but for money. We see this when they say, “Friends? Your friends? If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week… Then you could see what it is, friends!” We can tell from this that the scene that the author is trying to create that if you were to stick all your friends in a near-death situation, or would see who your true friends are. We see the impact of war being a huge theme because the story takes place during World War II, and after the Holocaust and the war ends, we see how the remaining Jews and the rest of Europe suffer the effects of it and how it’s going to affect future generaríamos to come. Lastly, the relationship between the author and his father; in the story, Art and his father never got along and were never the same person, we see how once Art starts interviewing his father about his own experiences in the war and Holocaust, that he truly understand why his father is the way he is. It’s a bit ironic how his father’s miseries and horrible memories are what brings them truly together.

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I also believe this text goes along with this course because of the historical context behind it. This story takes place during World War II in Poland. The Nazi army took over Poland conquering the Polish, and then forcing Jews into these ghettos. Lastly, transport them to concentration/ extermination camps where they’ll meet their doom. Using the historical context can relate to this class by giving us a critical thinking perspective of how first hand these people survived or tried to survive in the horrible conditions they were put in. We see the true definition of survival and what it takes to survive while trying to stick together. Finally, the story is told through the perspective of his father giving it credibility giving us a glance at what he experienced, and giving us as the readers a better perspective we would have never known.

I believe this text can fit into the course because its themes presented in the story are similar to other themes from books we have read like family, morality, and a relationship with a parent or guardian. Also, the historical context from the text takes place in World War II like other books being read like “The Buddha in the Attic” and some stories from “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.” Although, many stories talk about The Holocaust or experiences of it; this text is given credibility as a graphic novel because the main character is the author’s father and gives his first-hand experience and turns it into a story. Maus is a tragic story that ends up bringing Art and his father closer when nothing else does and brings out the true meaning of family.

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Maus’ Themes Essay.
(2024, February 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 7, 2024, from

“Maus’ Themes Essay.” Edubirdie, 28 Feb. 2024,

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Maus’ Themes Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie.
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