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The Holocaust is often expressed as an event that cannot be appropriately described in any language known to the human race Art Spiegelmans Maus and Maus II tries to overcome this perplexing language barrier by presenting the story of the authors father a Jewish man who survived the Final Solution in the format of a graphic novel Spiegelmans illustrations and dialogue storyline help to capture both his fathers distressing story as well as the personal difficulties he experienced himself as a second generation survivor so to speak giving readers a new way to try to understand this dark moment in history A relatively new medium when the Maus books were first created the graphic novel has the power to attract a diverse audience In his books Spiegelman is telling the story of his father Vladek and how his life was affected during the Holocaust Artie as his father calls him gets his father to tell him the story over many visits and includes in the plot his own feelings about the visits The drawings follow the plot from the present setting in which his father is actually relating the story to him with lengthy flashbacks to the time during which the events actually took place The first book is entitled My Father Bleeds History and relates his fathers life from the mid 1930s to the winter of 1944 And Here my Troubles Began is the second book which picks up where the first one left off following Vladeks story through the end of the Holocaust while in the present his health is failing and by the end of the book he has passed away Spiegelmans drawings give readers a new way to realize the events that happened during this historical stain One way in which the drawings aid in creating a memorable understanding of the Holocaust is the metaphoric way in which the characters of both books are drawn Jewish people are drawn as mice
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