Tuesday, August 16, 2011
One of the biggest element that stands out with Maus is transition that takes place between book I and Book II. Maus I contains two frames of reference; one of the relationship between arty and his father (external frame) and then the story that his father tells of his experience in WWII (internal frame). Book II maintains this dual frame work yet introduces a third almost metacognitive frame in which Arty directly discusses his difficulty in writing the story. Another interesting moment happens on the opening page of book II where this meta fictive element comes into play. Art Spiegelman uses a visual metaphor by making his humans appear with animalistic elements. On page 11 there is a discussion between Arty and Francoise about which animal he will draw her as yet she appears already as a mouse on the page. This metaphor comes back to the forefront a few more times cognitively throughout Book II. On page 41 where Art's third frame presents itself, the characters are drawn all wearing appropriate masks. Then on page 50, an overlap of a character as a mouse/cat plays into the discussion of whether he was a Jew or a German non Jew. Even though these two conscious decisions, that of frames and visual metaphor, are used in his first book, the differences of these two elements in the second book become very interesting to analyze and compare to one another.