March 28, 2018
In the novel, Maus Art Spiegelman uses art and history to show his audience that racism is a theme that resonates heavily in our lives.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Race is something the reader sees when they first crack open the novel. Spiegelman uses art to symbolize every individual race. Jewish people are mice, German people are cats, Polish people are pigs, American people are dogs and French people are frogs. Each character is represented by the way the world stereotypes or sees them as. The German cats prey upon the Jewish mice; the American dogs save the Jewish mice, etc. Spiegelman uses his artwork to show the world different stereotypes while also showing the reader that stereotypes and racism are only skin deep. On page 66 of Maus I, Vladek uses a pig mask to hide his true identity and no one could even tell the difference. He “abuses” the fact that “The poles were very bitter on the Germans” to help him get back to his side of Poland. By concealing his identity he provides temporary protection.
In addition to using art to explain racial stereotypes, Spiegelman uses his novel to help the reader under being a certain race gives you power or “privilege”. Whether you w...