Analysis of Maus: the Animal Behavioral Stance Essay

I want to use Maus as my analysis. I feel like you can gain insight into this blend more easily because the connections Spiegelman used was so closely related to how people view society. The intentionality behind it so obvious, trying to tell the story of a World War Two survivor in way that people could relate to without getting too emotionally evolved. It’s like Art’s psychiatrist says to Art, “I’m not talking about YOUR book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust.

What’s the point? People haven’t changed… Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.” I think what he was trying to say is that most people don’t understand what those survivors really went through. There is about a thousand different depictions of the Holocaust, but none that tell the story like Maus does.

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It’s something about the way you see through Vladek’s eyes, as a mouse rather than human, that perhaps makes it easier for us to “get it”.

However, the types of animals he used made it a little complicated to not get involved emotionally. Viewing the Jews as vermin and the Germans as cats trying to exterminate those vermin, made it even more real, I felt. The way people feel like the Polish are dirty people (pigs) and how Americans feel they can conquer or take anything they feel (dogs), just adds to the subjectivity of the situation. We want to feel for the mice as the cats treat them so, but we only know mice as vermin, not hopeless creatures being picked on, or exterminated in this case, by the creature in higher power.

On top of that, I believe the Behavioral Stance (animals are intelligent and are capable of associative learning, that is they are capable of grasping that certain actions or a certain chain of events are linked to others) applies to this novel because when Vladek is continually finding a way to provide or hide his family, shows that he has an understanding of the horrors that could possibly happen to him if they were captured.

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