Maus by Art Spiegelman
Maus is a classic comic book by Art Spiegelman, and it is about a boy who had a strained relationship with his father. The author uses animals to represent various characters in the book. The book is mostly written in the war days, and the animal characters are mostly to avoid showing any biases or preconceptions about an individual culture. Maus by Spiegelman when compared to The Great Gatsby by Scott FitzGerald’s they are differences that are noted in the two comic books. The differences are regarding plot, theme, and conflict.
Firstly, the plot OF Maus is based on the world war days and the Holocaust. The author bases his story on the interviews he had with his father about the world war and the mistreatment of the Jews BY Germans. The plot is based on real-life events that have been recorded in the history of all countries as the events are known worldwide. However, the great Gatsby is plot mainly based on fictional thoughts of the author and events are created are fictional. The plot of The Great Gatsby is about a love triangle between Nick, Jay, and Daisy. The story is based on a fictional town known as West Egg. The events in this book are not widely known as they mostly happened to individual people. Even though both are comic books their plots differ in that Maus is based on real life events while The Great Gatsby is mostly fictional matters.
Secondly, the books also vary in their themes. Maus focuses more on the events of the Second World War. Another theme of the book is that the effects of the holocaust on its survivors and the bond that exists between family members. The young boy interviewed his father on the World War II and all the experiences he went through as a Jew and the events during the Holocaust. After the boy’s mother dies, the father marries another wife that the boy does not like. Later, the boy can have a good relationship with his father. However, the Great Gatsby focuses on the theme of love. The love portrayed in the book is mainly the evil kind of love where people are willing to do anything just to be with the people they love. In the book, Gatsby tries to entice Daisy with his wealthy even though she is already married. This would later result in the destruction of marriage between Daisy and Tom. The themes in the two books are very different as even the love portrayed in Maus is pure while the love in The Great Gatsby is evil and dark.
The central conflict in Maus is that Art wants to spend the least amount of time with his father and he also needs to know and understand everything that happened during the Holocaust. Art has to look for ways to ensure every second he spends with his father enables him to learn something new about the Holocaust. Art wants to spend the least amount of time with his father because of the bad relationship between them that was caused by the death of his mother. However, in the Great Gatsby, the central conflict is between a man and himself. Gatsby thinks that Daisy will be attracted to him because of the great wealth that he has acquired over the years. But Daisy requires more proof that Gatsby is a changed man and he no longer possesses his past character. The conflicts in the two books fully differ in the way they are represented in the two books.
Art Spiegelman has adequately presented the plot, theme, and conflict of the book Maus even though he has used an unfamiliar way of writing. The writer’s use of worldwide events and also addressing matters that most societies would rather be silent about (Holocaust and mistreatment of the Jews in Germany) has enhanced the book as a whole. Readers are mostly likely to read a book that will provoke them to think about how to address the current issues and how the past events have affected various people in the present world.
In conclusion, Art’s book despite been a comic has not only taken a mode of entertainment to the readers but also educated them on the past events. And on issues regarding upholding family above all situations. The book ends by showing the tombs of Vladek and Anja provoking the readers to speculate whether the couple died at the same time or at different times.
Kruger, L. (2015). Panels and faces: segmented metaphors and reconstituted time in Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Critical Arts, 29(3), 357-366.
Scott, F. (1986). The Great Gatsby. CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS.
Spiegelman, A. (2003). The complete maus. Penguin Books Limited.