Essay Instructions: Write a 1100 - 1750 word paper that includes the following components:
1. a brief summary of the plot (250-350 words)
2. your personal response to the text (250-350 words)
3. a summary of 2 articles of literary criticism of the work in particular and/or graphic novel history/background that pertains to the text in some way (250-350 words for each article)
4. your opinion as to whether the work should or should not be included in a graphic novels class and why/why not (250-350 words)
Since I have asked for your personal response and opinion, you may use 1st person in this paper (but no "you"), but in other respects it must follow conventions of formal academic writing. It should be in MLA format with a heading, header, title, use literary present tense, include MLA parenthetical citations, an MLA works cited page, and appropriately academic language. See MLA Paper Format and Citation Guidelines for help.
My Personal Responses:
Discussion Week 4:
First off, let me say that the book is something that I am very interested in reading more about. I first heard of the Holocaust when I was a freshman in high school. My teachers were very surprised that I did not know anything about this. My teacher, Miss Aleman, was very instrumental to my learning of this subject, even though it was not something that was being covered in class that year.
My initial impression of Vladek Spiegelman is that he is a very unhappy and hard man. The Holocaust has made him a very hard man to understand and live with. He is very critical and rude at times, but he has good side, even if it is not seen as much after the Holocaust. As he tells his story from before the Holocaust you get an insight into the person he used to be.
As with everything, the lives we have live and the decisions we have made are what determines the people we have become. Vladek's life story is very hard to hear, but it necessary for him and for his son. As Vladek is telling his story he is going back to the time when everything started, good and bad. It think it is good for him in a way that he can pass on what has happen to him, so people will know even if they might never understand.
The relationship between Vladek and Artie is very strained. It is very hard for Vladek to show affection and understand because he is afraid to feel anything. Artie is very hurt by his father’s lack of affection, but I think in a way he is starting to understand. Artie is trying to write this book because I think he wants to know what his father has went through and maybe he can get insight into why their relationship is the way it is. I think Artie is trying to find some middle ground where he can get along with his father because like all children they all want their parents love and affection.
Discussion Week 5:
I think the source of the tension is the Holocaust and their lack of understanding between them. For Art, he tries to understand what his father went through and accept the person he has become. In a way, Art has, but he does not know how to deal with his father. He lets all his father’s “habits” bother him, when they shouldn’t. He knows his father is a survivor of the Holocaust and in a way he sees that as a problem. For Vladek, the Holocaust is a burden he carries with him every day. He does not understand that it is also a burden his son, Art, carries. Vladek tends to be a very selfish person because he chooses not to understand his son. Vladek makes everything they do and discuss about him. From what I read so far, Vladek never even asks his son anything about his life. The only reference I have seen that Vladek actually pays attention to his son is when he mentions that his son will be famous someday like “Walt Disney” (Maus I, 133). Art is so surprise by this he goes to get a pencil so he can write it down before he can forget. Imagine how his son has to write it down because he father finally said something encouraging to his son. You can tell a lot from this action. Vladek would have seen this if he paid close attention to what his son’s actions and feelings. They both let their problems rule their lives because they do not know how to fix it. B y the ending of the first book, I think they are on their way to resolve some problems they have with each other. In way, Art might have resolves some problems by writing these novels. I think it was a way for him to resolve his feelings.
Discussion Week 6:
The way the novel ended gave me a mixture of feelings. At one point I am so sad that Vladek
died, but at the same time I feel a sense of rightness that he was able to go the way he did. The last thing Vladek recalled before he passed away was his reuniting with Anja: “We were both very happy and lived happy, happy ever after” (Spiegelman, 136). In reference to their tombstone, I think it was great that Spiegelman was able to reunite his parents after death together in a great way even if it was very sad.
I do get a sense of closure for Vladek, but not for Artie. You can still feel his guilt, frustration, and anger even at the end. He even admitted his own guilt: “I feel guilt enough already!” (Spiegelman, 120). Which I think was a start toward dealing with his issues. I do not think he found closure, but did find a way to deal with his feelings toward his family.
I feel no closure or catharsis at the end of the story, but I do think I was not meant to. This was a telling of history not a work of fiction and because of that I do not think we are supposed to feel closure. I am very sad, frustrated, and angry that something like this could go on for so long and that our government did not know about it, but I think that they did even if they did not want to admit to it. I am shock by this, but I feel that it was written for us to feel whatever we need to feel by this. Spiegelman even said that he did not write this for us to understand. “I wasn’t trying to convince anybody of anything” (Spiegelman, 42). He wrote it more for himself as a way to deal with his issues. Everyone is going to feel and take from this story anything they need to because it was meant for that.
There are faxes for this order.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: I need the paper to include the following questions answer:
Analyze the foreword in Maus I (young Artie is roller skating with friends) The forward meaning the relationship between artie and his father Vladek. What issue that are being thrown out. What do you learn abut the father/son relationship in the forword, and what does this have to do with the jewish holocaust? Answer the question on how artie must confront a sterotype about jews in depicting his father. What is his dilemma and how does he handle it. Do you think Artie is an honest writer? Do you trust him as a reader? Use Lucia story at the beginning of Maus I to think about this issue. Please cite scene and page for each to illistrate point/argument. Base on the cartoon medium does the cat and mouse metaphor work give examples why and why not. Give 3 examples on the cartoon medium where it was highly effective and why, use examples from the books. How does speigelman's character role evole from Maus I and Maus II. Where does he start to find deeper personal meaning? Cite proof book #, page#.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Book: Art Spiegelman. Maus vols. I & II. New York: Pantheon, 1986, 1991.
Format: Times New Roman typed in standard font size 12 point and double-spaced with one inch margins. The paper should have a relevant title (preferably something thoughtful, clever, or suggestive) centered near the top of the first page. The essay should be focused argument based on a clearly defined thesis, or controlling idea, carefully developed and supported through intelligent analysis and the appropriate use of examples and quotations. Avoid gross generalizations, unsubstantiated claims, and excessive plot summary. Avoid using the pronouns I, we and you.
Topic: Central to Maus is Vladek's relationship with his loved ones and the effects of his past experience on those relationships and his character in general. Some might argue that Vladek was so traumatized by his past experience that his character changed in fundamental ways and that this has an adverse effect on his present relationships with Art and Mala. Others might argue that his past experience only magnified pre-existing character traits, and those traits were actually beneficial to his and Anja's survival during the war, but that they now have a detrimental effect on his relationships with his family members. Analyze Vladek's character and his relationship to Art and Mala.
Other Topic: Discuss the significance of the animal representations in Maus and how they contribute to our understanding of the story.
You can type on either topic presented above, but only one.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Choose another artistic representation (literature, film, or visual arts) of the Holocaust (some well-known examples include: Anne Frank??s Diary, Survival in Auschwitz, Schindler??s List, The Pianist, etc.) and compare it with Maus, addressing the form and content, and their influences on the readers/viewers in reflecting the particular historical event.
Excerpt From Essay:
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