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Two Narrators Are Not Always Better Than One

In: English and Literature

Submitted By katdix
Words 743
Pages 3
Often times when reading novels based off of true events, the reader is inclined to interpret what the narrator says to be true. In Art Spiegelman’s Maus, neither Artie nor Vladek could be considered reliable narrators due to Artie being the author of the book thus being able to edit his book however he saw fit, and Vladek is unreliable because his recollection of the Holocaust has a large bias since he only encountered one side of the Holocaust and his memories could be skewed by his age. Artie is not a reliable narrator because he is both the author and narrator and because he has allowed his relationship to his father to bias his perspective. Art Spiegelman chose to show his relationship with his father in the book. “Simultaneously it is a sharp study of the tension that exists between father and son, and the story of the writing of the book itself” (Grossman “Maus…”). Due to him being the author and editor of the book, one cannot trust Artie because he could have edited anything he wanted in order to portray the tension between him and his father in a different light than what it really was. Throughout the novel, Art and Vladek have intense arguments, the most passionate being the final one where Art leaves his father, calling him “Murderer” (159). When taken out of context, it seems a bit extreme for Art to call his father a murderer. But, the way Art wrote about his mother and included the very personal strip that he wrote about her, makes the reader feel for his side of the argument. The more pressing matter should be whether Art made the situation with his father to a more severe case or if that is how everything really happened. “The book doesn’t only delve into Vladek’s past, but into his present, especially his fraught relationship with his son Art and his second wife Mala” (Masson “Some Animals…”). Art had total control over what went in his novel and...

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