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Word Count: 1,050
In any artistic work aesthetic style is a crucial aid to the viewers understanding of the piece as a whole Art Spiegelmans remarkable publication Maus breaks the conventional barriers of the past between comics and what were then considered to be serious novels As a graphic novel about a horrific atrocity Maus is the first work of its kind Through the style of his drawings Spiegelman is able to use illustration to aid in the telling of a story Each individually crafted panel is detailed enough to be significant alone together they create a rich tapestry of images which portray a powerful story without compromising the works literary integrity Page 87 of Maus is an ideal example of Spiegelmans combination of thoughtful detail and underlying meaning in his drawings In panels 2 3 6 and 7 of page 87 Vladek and Artie are only shown as silhouettes This might be taken to represent a connection with Vladeks past As Adolf Hitler is quoted to have said The Jews are undoubtedly a race but they are not human Jews were not viewed as worthwhile individuals As the camps and gas chambers filled each Jew became only a number if even that As the Jews were faceless then Vladek is depicted as being faceless in the present Yet it is noteworthy that Vladeks glasses are still visible against his dark silhouette Glasses stereotypically represent a persons thought and intellect and in these panels spectacles imply a hint of Vladeks human aptitude The contrast between the glasses and the silhouette is an ironic detail beyond what the initial glance might discern Thoughtful details like these that appear throughout Maus are significant in their ability to lend a sense of humanity to an inhumanly cruel tale Almost six million Jews were massacred during the Holocaust although many works have been written about and around the events of the Second World War Spiegelman through the use of image
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