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A Graphic Adventure

In: English and Literature

Submitted By natedog1985
Words 537
Pages 3
A Graphic Adventure

A Graphic Adventure
Nathan Reece
Herzing University

A Graphic Adventure The holocaust is well known as a very tragic event and a first-hand account of such an event is already intriguing enough. However, Art Spiegelman took the intrigue a step further by telling it through an ironic graphic novel. The short adscript, “Prisoner of War” is an ironic graphic representation of the holocaust from a Russian’s perspective. Artie, a secluded boy, visits his father one of many times to ascertain more information about his past experiences in the war. In this instance his father recollects a time of tragic momentums. Artie listens eagerly although seems to take more interest in the recording story’s events than his father’s suffering. Perhaps one of the most ironic aspects of this graphic novel is the decision to use animals to depict race and nationality. Rats and Mice, for example, are used for the male and female Jewish characters. Cats are used for German soldiers and pigs for the Polish, who were very bitter towards the Germans at this time. This allowed him to depict something through picture that he would normally describe in long script. The variation shows the Jews as pests, which is how society saw them at the time. And it also showed the German as their predators and natural oppressors. Cats are viewed as a control factor for rats and mice, which exactly the way they saw themselves. Prior to telling the story, Vladek is demonstrating how insecure he is to sharing the experience with others by speaking sharply to his son and being a little cold to his second wife. Perhaps the reason could be after being betrayed so viciously during his time in service he has trouble trusting others to sympathize with his pain.
As the story begins Vladek, the father, is telling his son of his enlistment into the Russian army. The account was a bit humorous as his Vladek describes how his father starved him and denied him sleep to give the appearance of a vaguely ill son. This would prevent him from being enlisted any time soon. Vladek, however, preferred the idea of going to war than starving at home. After finally joining the army he was thrown into battle and captured by the German army. After spending much time in a POW camp, Vladek joined a group of soldiers who received special assignments and special treatments from the German soldiers. This group was promised safe passage home in return for their services. However they were betrayed and six hundred soldiers were killed by the Nazis. After bribing German police officers Vladek was able to sneak home and return to his family. The time I spent engaged in this story, was time well spent. Being not only educational, it was a refreshing step away from more common types literature, which always runs the risk of being dreary at times as the writer takes you from one plateau to the next. I would recommend this story to anyone seeking a satirical adventure, especially those enthusiastic about war history.

Spiegelman, Art (1986). "Chapter 3: Prisoner of War." Maus 1: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History. Pantheon. pp. 41-69

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